This week, I worked in my car and at the dance studio more often than I worked at home. It’s the stage of life I’m in and I work hard to remember that when I find myself wishing for more down time to work on my manuscripts. I don’t wish it away because my children will only be this age once and I know I will miss it when it’s gone. I want to pursue my dreams, and I also want to be present for them. So, I take advantage of the time I have when I have it and revise or write wherever I can.
This week I wanted to jump into the fourth chapter of the manuscript to start weaving in more of the relationship between two of my characters, but instead I forced myself to start from the very first chapter. I knew I needed to be with my character from the beginning to get back into his head space and walk in his shoes again. Doing that made me remember what he’d been through previously and remember the people he had already interacted with. That was the primer I needed before the work on this other relationship needs to happen. I took all of the notes and thoughts I had and revised the first three chapters all in one sitting, and am now ready to dive into chapter four.
I also had to make the intentional decision to ONLY revise on this read through and save the editing for the next read through. If I let myself get lost in adding all of the missing apostrophes and commas, I’d never get down to fixing the story the way it needs to be fixed. In the revisions, I’m taking away and adding whole sections of the story. I make it a rule not to go back and edit as I write because I can’t be in both head spaces at once. I can’t be creating the story and editing at the same time. I have to give myself over to the creation and let my fingers fly and then go back back and fix all of the errors. I’m hoping to have the entire manuscript revised in the next week and then I will go back through and edit.
Of course, as I go back through to edit, I know I’ll find more I want to revise. BUT, just like in this stage, I will force myself to only focus on the editing and make notes for more revisions after. But that too will be tricky. I think if I let myself I’d continue to find things to add and change, wonder about what other adventures they’d want to go on and things they’d want to experience, and continue following one thing after another after another. My hope is that at some point my characters will let me know when their story is complete.
How are your projects progressing?