Revision is a big part of the writing life, but it’s not the easiest part. Love Julie True Kingsley’s description of what revision feels like:
“Ever wonder what it feels like? Revision?
It’s kind of like getting in the car in Maine, driving to Kansas City, then turning around to pop into New York City to pick a friend during rush hour because you can’t go west without her. You get to Pennsylvania and realize that you forgot your underwear. So, you swing by the mall buy some (it’s not too far out of your way!). Then, while driving through Kansas you have all kinds of time to think about things you should have brought with you (there is plenty of time to think in Kansas! So you get your mom to send all that stuff to you). Then you realize that you picked up bed begs around Sioux City and you need to exterminate the infested car because really you’ve gone too far.
Soon you don’t care what you look like because you’ve been on the road for a couple of weeks. What’s hygiene anyways if you never see a soul you know. Heck, who cares what socks you wear.”
I totally feel this. It can be hard enough to finish your first draft. Then you have to revise it…and revise it…and revise it. You tweak one part, then your critique group says you need to flesh out another. Revision can feel like a road trip where you don’t really know how far it takes to get to the shiny city of final draft.
Fortunately, Julie also reminds us that, even when revision feels like you’re stranded on the side of the road, the journey is pretty freaking awesome. No matter what part of the trip you’re on, and even though it may feel like a lonely trek, there are a lot of other writers out there traveling right along with you.