Ah! I'm late posting today . . . which is maybe a sign of how much I need this group today, because I'm more than a little overwhelmed in my writing life. You see, I've got an R&R.
If you've not suffered this particular sling or arrow of outrageous fortune, let me explain. R&R, unfortunately, does not stand for "rest and relaxation." Instead, it is a "revise and resubmit." In short, you sent your book baby out there, thinking it was ready to go, and the publisher disagrees. Not enough to reject it; just enough to say: please take this back and make it better and try again.
For me, at least, it was a heartbreaker. I'd busted my bunions to get this book (the third of the Menopausal Superheroes series) in by the deadline I needed to meet to keep a 2017 release date. Since my heart was broken, I've been avoiding thinking about it for a few weeks, using the excuse of other writing deadlines to let it sit for a bit. But those deadlines all passed as of yesterday, and I'm out of procrastination excuses without getting really silly about it. Plus, if I don't start I won't finish by the NEW deadline (November 30).
The good thing, though, about those few weeks of knowing I had to do this but not doing anything about it yet, was that the sting has worn off a bit. Yesterday, I sat down with the beta comments and could read them more objectively, and look at how they might be right, instead of shaking my tiny fist at the heavens and swearing that it can't be so.
In the end, I know the book will be much better for this revision. It's just painful right now, trying to find the right road to get there, and on a short schedule. Probably, I should be thanking my publisher for not taking work that isn't really ready and pushing me to do my very best, even if it takes longer. I don't think I'm quite ready to break out the monogrammed stationery just yet though; there's still a lot of work to do and stress to chew through before then.
I am grateful though, for their willingness to work with and keep my release date. I was trying to work faster than I ever have before, and, in my heart, I do know that the book needs something. In fact, I'm pretty sure I know what it needs, so that's a good place to be in.
How about you, writing friends? How do you move through the stages of grief when your work is criticized and get to the revision frame of mind? How long do you stay stuck in "denial"?
If you're not already following #IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group), you should really check it out. The monthly blog hop is a panoply of insight into the writing life at all stages of hobby and career. Search the hashtag in your favorite social media venue and you'll find something interesting on the first Wednesday of every month.
The monthly question for November was: What's your favorite aspect of being a writer?
For me, it's connecting with readers. When you hear (via a review, or an email, or a conversation) that someone read your book and really "got"it--saw in it all you'd intended--that's the best feeling in the world. That's when you know that you succeeded in realizing your vision.
Best of luck with your speedy revisions! I'm also revising, having been advised by a few agents (in the nicest possible rejection letters) and betas to cut extraneous characters and subplots. On the one hand, I rather liked my previous draft. On the other hand, it's good to have a clear direction. I think it's working, too. Wishing you happy writing in November.ReplyDelete
Good luck with your revisions! I've been trying to revise a novel for quite some time and I don't really know what to do with it right now. Hopefully I can figure it out soon.ReplyDelete
Here's hoping a deadline puts a fire in this oven.Delete
You did well by giving yourself some space (and time) before tackling the R&R. Good luck. You can do it!ReplyDelete
Thanks. The time doesn't solve the writing problems, but it helped with the ego problems. :-)Delete
Good luck with revisions. I usually procrastinate on opening beta notes too. It's because I'm not ready for the criticism and I'll take it too personally. I need to be objective.ReplyDelete
Its hard to be objective about art. Especially your own.Delete
It's hard to look at criticism as constructive. You did the right thing by setting it aside, then coming back to it, more objective. They are trying to help you and making the story better. Good luck!ReplyDelete
IWSG co-host Mary at Play off the Page
Thanks! Here's hoping.Delete
There's a bright side to everything. They want it back. It's not an outright rejection.ReplyDelete
Plus, now that all the other deadlines are out of the way, you can focus all your energy on making the changes.
That's what I'm hoping :-) Thanks for the encouragement.Delete
Good luck with your revisions. Though it's not always an easy process, revisions are the necessary evil to make our writing shine.ReplyDelete
And hearing/reading from someone whose read your work hiw it touched or resonated with them, how they 'got' it, etc. really is a great feeling.