Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting Back in the Habit

Okay, I'm going to get in big trouble for this, so I have to type quick. 

Here's the thing. 

I got my editorial email from Laura last Friday and well...progress has been slow.

It's not that I disagree with her comments--in fact it was a lot of,  *smacks face* WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT MONTHS AGO?!?! And it's not that I'm not excited to get started--I mean, dude, I'm working with my agent. It's not even like I don't have enough motivation, because, um, I HAVE A DEADLINE! So you'd think I'd be cranking these revisions out.

And yet, every time I open my draft, well...

I revise a few sentences.
And then I check my email.
I stop by Twitter.
I read some blogs.
I check statcounter.
I reply to blog comments.
And then I start to feel guilty, so I revise another page.
But then a cat crawls into my lap and I HAVE to scratch his tummy
And then I need more water
And I notice that the downstairs is messy so I straighten
And well, all of a sudden it's late at night and I've accomplished very little.
And I've been unable to figure out why. But I think I've found the answer.

See, a completed draft is like a house of cards.
Every word, every sentence has been carefully stacked and arranged to support the next, and the next--and they may not be perfect, but they're all standing darnit!

And revision is like reaching into the middle of that house and sliding a few cards out so you can rearrange them, and well... THE WHOLE THING CRUMBLES.

So it's easy to sit and stare at what you've created and feel a little terrified about destroying it. But it has to be done, because then you'll rebuild and it'll be even better than it was and you'll be SO glad you did it.  It's just hard to tear out those first few cards and watch it all crumble. 

So with that in mind, I turned to my super-awesome CP Sara McClung and begged for help. I needed a butt kicker, and since she had no problem stepping into that role when I was trying to finish my major re-write in time for the conference, I knew she'd be up to the task.

But she. is. intense!

I have to check in every two hours with progress reports.
I'm not allowed to tweet.
I have a feeling I'm not supposed to blog (hence why I'm typing only slightly slower than the speed of light right now)
So, while I LOVE her--OMG, she's only been at it one night and I already accomplished more than I did ALL of last week--it may mean some changes.

I probably won't be blog hopping as much. 
(Sorry if that means I'm not able to comment on your posts.)
And I probably won't be on Twitter as much (*sobs*)
I'm sure my email response time will also increase.
I'm still going to try to squeeze in blog posts, but other than that, there might not be a lot of Shannon on the internets. 
But I promise it's only temporary. I have a pretty tight deadline, so I WILL be done soon. And then I'll be back to my procrastinating ways while I wait for Laura to read it and compose another Email of Doom of all the things I STILL got wrong. 

Ah...revision. It never ends, does it?

Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know what's going on so you'll *hopefully* understand why I might not be around as much. I hope you'll still stop by and say hi sometimes on my posts, and I'll try to be back to reading yours as soon as I can. 

And now I better get back to work before she catches me.
*glances over shoulder*
OMG--she's watching me.
Uh oh.
Gotta go. 


  1. I wish I had an intense "coach" like that! (I say this now not having been throught the process of course.) I wonder if I could get my husband to help me with that....hrmm...

  2. Good luck to you. It's good to have someone to help motivate you, even beyond the deadlines and other reasons. I'm sure you'll do great and look forward to the report that you've finished the draft of edits.

  3. Ha! So THAT'S why she was yelling at you on Twitter last night. Nice! She's hardcore, in't she?

    Good luck on the revisions, good lady. And, since I'm nice like that, I promise I will mercilessly berate you should I see you on Twitter. See what a good friend I am?

  4. Yessss. Ok. You are allowed to blog of course. But Shannon... I AM still watching twitter 0.o

    In fact, why are you reading this comment? GET. BACK. TO. WORK.


  5. How exciting to be at the next phase of your career! I'm sure I would be terrified as well as the prospect of agent/editor revisions -- I mean you've already "finished" it, right? Congratulations -- and keep typing!

  6. Good Luck! I know blogging among other things are very distracting! I personally just started the editing process and I know what you mean about not really wanting to destroy something you've worked on but knowing it needs to be done! It's tough!

  7. Good luck!! Deadlines are so exciting, right?? A whole new level to your career and I'm so happy for you!

  8. I'm the same way. Takes me forever to really get into the zone without checking all my other accounts. Bad habit...

  9. Doing a great job, Shannon. You'll leap over that hurdle and conquer!

  10. have fun revising. it is one step closer to the finished product. You can DO IT!!





  12. Gotta say I am with them...

    Get off the internet on the computer.

    Text Sarah your progress (not Twitter)

    Get revising.

    *note: Remember, its a good thing you are in the revising stage, its for your Agent. ;o)

    Visit My Kingdom Anytime

  13. You'll finish, its so exciting and I totally get what you mean about the stack of cards which is why I have to do everything--write, revise, edit from start to finish and go completely in order.

  14. LOL, get back to work!

    Can I just say how jealous I am of your situation? Will that help motivate you a little? ;)

  15. We'll just wait excitedly for your next post. You have more important things to be doing now! And someday, we'll all be saying the same thing on our blogs.

    And then you can laugh at us because you'll have been there, done that, new adventure.


  16. Hilarious! Way to go, Sara! And, Shannon, you will get it all done and it will be awesome! We will miss you, but we completely understand. Good luck and have fun!

  17. I can't wait to receive an Email of Doom one day -- best of luck revising!

  18. The writing is more important - and deadlines are sacred! Write hard, get it done, and we'll be waiting when you can come back out to play. :-)

    Good luck!

  19. Go, Sara! LOL!

    You're lucky to have your own writing fitness trainer. Ha ha. It sounds like she knows exactly what type of writing regimen you need, so she'll have you in perfect shape in no time. As long as you do what she says! :-)

  20. Go! Go! Go! What an exciting time. And how fantastic to have such amazing support.

  21. We understand and if we knew what was good for us, we would follow suit. Must. Write. Not. Blog.

  22. Something tells me that I shouldn't be writing this, cause it will only distract you :P
    You're so lucky to have a trainer like that! If I had one, just imagine how far my novel would be along right now!
    Instead I check my email, and blog some more. Gah, how will I ever survive the publishing world so full of deadlines?
    Good luck with revisions!

  23. The story of my life! Well, minus the agent. And minus Sara sitting behind me yelling at me to write. Okay, so maybe it's not the story of my life.

    Good luck!

  24. I just found your blog from Elana J,'s, and I had to tell you congrats on getting an agent!! And such an amazing one, too. Wow! I'm waiting for my first round of revision notes from my agent (I just accepted her offer last week), and I'm nervous but excited. It's so amazing to think that I am going to be revising for MY AGENT this time! woot! Good luck!

  25. It sounds like you need to go somewhere without internet access to finish your revisions. It sounds like your agent has some great advice. I think blogging, twittering and facebooking can be addicting...Good luck finishing up!

  26. Keep working! Every little word is bringing you deeper into plot, more complex in conflict, and closer to stronger characters...

    (I'm telling myself all this, too.)

  27. I want an awesome crit partner like that! I save myself half of those distractions by turning off the radio on my computer so I can't get on the internet even if I want to. Helps a ton, and it saves battery life. Good luck with revisions!


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