At the start of this year, I made a promise to myself. Like ever other New Year's "resolutionist", I started making lists of my goals for 2016, and on that list - just like any other year - I wrote "get published". This year however, I also started making a smaller list that I considered "actionable goals"; small tasks that I could do every day to break down my goal into something manageable. This is what that task list looked like:
- Blog every week
- Submit to writing competitions
- 15 minutes of networking a day
- 15 minutes of drafting query letter a day
- 15 minutes (minimum) of revising Ravage a day
Of these five goals, as you might have guessed, I've only (barely) adhered to the first two. I've hardly ever checked on my social media, with the exception of maybe Pinterest and Youtube. I gave up pretty quickly on the idea of drafting my query letter once I discovered that a third of said letter consisted of my "credentials" as a writer: degrees, awards, positions of significant employment, certifications of merit - aka, all things of which I do not possess.
But I simply cannot condone the fact that I have not even stuck to the minimum minutes of revision a day I set out for myself. I had honestly thought that 15 minutes was an incredibly manageable expectation, something I could do to work around the screenplay drafts, reading assignments, and short essays that I have due for school. I was so sure of this that I marked a date on my planner - February 29th - and circled the words, "Ravage content edit due".
That due date is now less than a week away, and I have not even revised past my third chapter.
The process of writing and revising is different for every writer, and I know a lot of the authors that I greatly admire look forward to the revision process. John Green has been known to say "that all writing is rewriting", and while I tend to agree, I've heard from a lot of authors - established or just starting off - that they find the process of revising infinitely easier than completing their first draft.
I beg to differ. Then again, this is coming from someone who hasn't completed a new first draft in the last three years. That being said, I probably still have a lot to learn from authors like John Green about the process of revision, but in the odd chance that I'm in the minority here, I thought I'd share some insights into what it is that makes the writing process the easier one for me; the things no one ever really tells you.
1. It's never easy
Okay. I know I just said that writing is the easy part. But the truth is, nothing is easy, fun, and enjoyable %100 of the time. Not even the thing you're passionate about. But if I've learned anything from participating in NaNoWriMo it's that, that's okay. In fact, I don't know I would have ever completed a novel if I hadn't been introduced to the process from that mindset.