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Friday, January 15, 2010

I've Got Nothing ...

...well, except for this empty shoe box. I've spent this past week discussing things I do to keep myself motivated during the revision process. I had a great topic for today, at least I think I did, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. So, I'm letting it go and admitting that I've got nothing. Now, I'm going to count on you to take up the slack for this nothing post. You tell me--what do you do to stay upbeat during revisions or any other stage of the writing process? I can't wait to hear what you all have to say. Have a great weekend!

49 comments:

Michelle Gregory said...

the best way for me to stay upbeat is to chat with my writing partner. if it weren't for her, i know i would have given up by now.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I used to hate revisions, but now, I find it interesting to see how I can make passages stronger, tighten the words. Once into that mode, it becomes like an inner challenge. One where I work almost oblivious to the outside world as I move my words around and work through similes, metaphors, etc. Next thing I know, the day is gone, but I've had a great time.

Matthew Delman said...

Since I started Free The Princess, I've been using my fellow blogging writers as motivation throughout the process. Including you of course, Susan.

It's always a joy to see the comments everyone leaves on my musings, and engage in conversations on other blogs that make me think about writing in whole new ways.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I'll admit, yesterday was the first time I've ever gotten pumped about heading into revisions and I think it was the idea of being back in the story.

~ Wendy

Name: Holly Bowne said...

I think everyone over 40 can relate to that "I was just going to say something, but I just can't remember what it was!" Ha, ha!

I'm not revising yet, but what helps me to stay motivated during the more difficult writing days is remembering this quote from Peter DeVries (just substitute "revise" for "write"):

"I only write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9 a.m."

Corey Schwartz said...

I think the only way to stay upbeat is to have great support group of writer friends! Luckily we can't all feel down at the same time, so we take turns giving each other pep talks!

Faith said...

A lot of coffee, a lot of chocolate, and plenty of breaks!

Terri Tiffany said...

As I mentioned before-- I love revisions! So I fill up on orange circus peanuts and dig in! Do you have someone reading your stuff? That always help motivate me too!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Ha! That's funny!

Usually I've given it to a friend or two to read, so I see what they think. They are good about giving me the positive while encouraging me to keep working.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Crit partners make the world go round man... I just shoot them an e-mail and they always respond with motivation and cheer! Also, music sets the mood and sometimes you just have to FORCE yourself...
Good luck!! You can do it... Just think of the end game!!

Robyn Campbell said...

*she stamps her foot* Why didn't I think of that when I don't have anything to say? Oh yeah, my hubby says I ALWAYS have something to say. :-) But there are days when I wonder what to post.

And now I'm done babbling and I will get to your question.

I don't stay upbeat during revisions! I'm always GROUCHY! There you have it. :-) I will say this, the family is really, really happy when I announce I'm finished revising. *grin*

Have a super weekend. I'm unplugging next week so I'll see you the week after.

Happy writing my friend. :0)

Kaylie said...

I'm going to start my revisions...soon. I think this time I'll have a revision plan. Each time I go through the MS, I'll have a purpose in mind--once for plot, once for voice, once for word choice, etc.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm sorry because I do love revisions, but sometimes it can come down to a point where I have to step away or strangle my wip. LOL!
Sometimes I'll stop and read a favorite book to cheer myself up and motivate me again.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

I like the empty box, waiting for new ideas, fresh possibilities. I'll have to get one of those. Fellow bloggers help me keep my spirits up of course. Enjoy your weekend!

Dominique said...

I like to play upbeat music while I'm editing. It keeps me peppy.

Catherine Denton said...

I'm always lifted by a good book. It gets me thinking about mine and then I'm ready to tackle revisions. Good music helps my mind loosen up and blogging friends give me encouragement.
Winged Writer

Julie Dao said...

It's been a tough week for me too, motivational-wise. Reading over my old work can help sometimes! Have a great weekend :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I just look at it as each revision being another step closer to being able to submit. My goal this year is to land an agent and I'm working my tail off to do it!

Jody Hedlund said...

Love that box! Somedays that's my brain too!

Amy Tate said...

Revisions are work, no doubt about it. I'm glad it's Friday...time to play!

Elana Johnson said...

I just keep repeating to myself: "Next round will be easier. Next round will be easier."

Because of all the hard work I'm putting in on THIS round. And I'm usually right.

Tere Kirkland said...

Actually, sometimes when revisions have got me down, I take out my notebook and just work for a night on another project. Then I'm usually ready to get back to work on the first project the next day, because it's safer and more comfortable compared to the unknown of a new project.

Hope that helps!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

lol, I've so been there. I come up with these brilliant ideas for blog posts at inopportune times, then later can't remember what the heck they were.

I was feeling down about my project last week and reached out to my blogging friends and crit buddies. That helped a lot.

schererart said...

Revisions are a complete downer to me. I am in complete self-pity mode during this time, in thinking I'll never get it right. About half way through the process, I begin to come out of the darkness... listening again to celtic music for motivation.

Carolyn V. said...

Two words. Chocolate chips. =)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

My CPs are the best at cheering me up. And when all else fails, I just set the writing aside for a while and indulge in my children and chocolate. That goes a long way.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I thought of your current posts when I read this quote a few moments ago.

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener

That would be me. My first drafts are pretty much crapola, so in the rewriting, my writing develops. Also, my kids would never let me see their writing for school because they knew my mantra was "Writing is rewriting."

Tamika: said...

Susan, I've loved this series! When I need motivation I read. Reading great fiction spurs me to create some of my own.

Have a great weekend! I'm unplugged next week- but I'll be lurking around to do some blog reading I'm sure.

Patti said...

It just takes one good rewrite to keep me going. One sentence that clicks. Sometimes I'm empty just like that box. Sometimes I read others blogs about their success and that gets me motivated. Kind of like starting a diet after watching the Biggest Loser.

L. T. Host said...

I get excited about revisions. Not as excited as I am about writing, but it's like solving a puzzle for me to find the right words to make it all flow and come together and put the pieces where they go.

I'm sick, I know, haha.

Janna Qualman said...

Aww. I admit my heart did a little dip when I realized there were no shoes. ;) But I understand! And we can't expect each other to be "on" every day of these blogging weeks. Hang in there! (And find some warm shoes. SO tired of my boots!)

Tess said...

hehehehe...an empty shoebox. funny.

my answer? snacks. I find cinnamon bears, licorice, soda....

anything with sugar and caffine can keep me going through a down dip in energy. healthy? no. realistic? yep.

Angie Muresan said...

I suggest some coffee, a piece of chocolate, a nap, and a good book. Pampering myself always does wonders. Have a lovely weekend, Susan!

Nancy said...

My story used to keep me happy during the first writing of any novel.
Right now, I was somewhat in need of motivation. I did something new on my blog that helped me look more professional. I also added more pictures. Any little thing I can learn and it works out right (after much trial and error) makes me motivated.

WhisperingWriter said...

I stay upbeat and remind myself that writing is what I love to do and that I'll never know if I don't try. Sometimes it's hard though, especially when I read all these articles on how hard it is to get published these days.

Melissa said...

I'm indulging in way too much chocolate now. Chocolate bars, cupcakes, hot cocoa, the list goes on and on. And I'm not allowing myself to feel guilty. That can come later:)

#167 Dad said...

Aha!You are human after all.
I write in two week busts, during my four teaching breaks. Having just two weeks before I turn into a big dopey pumpkin seems to keep me going.

Faith Imagined said...

Chai tea lattes and fire ball candies get me motivated. Is that sad or what?

However, I'm on a strict diet because the holidays were not good to my mid-section, so fire balls are out. I guess I could sprinkle some cinnamon on some celery sticks....

-alisa hope

Erica said...

Oh man, sorry about that! Let's see, well... I'm in the same stage, so really, I feel for you.

I try to concentrate on the big picture. The completion. I also, don't pressure myself too much, I do some, cause if not it wouldn't get done. I read the stuff before it that is already revised, it's always better and gives me that extra push to keep going.

Hope this helps :o) Treat yourself to something you love :o)

Sarah Simas said...

Oh, I've had days like this too!

I try to stay focused on moving forward. Every little step taken puts me one step closer to my ultimate goal. Even if all I do is reread a chapter or two, visit blogs/yahoo loops, or brainstorm with my CP's- it's all about honing my craft and staying positive.

This is my first visit to this blog. What a lovely site!

Keep the Faith, Love the Craft!
Sarah

Tara McClendon said...

In this case, I think I'd have to fill the box with something fun. I'd probably write random words on strips of paper, toss them into the box, and work off some type of Mad Lib theme. I do the same thing with blank pages: If I can't figure out what to write, I draw a picture--it fills up the page.

Barrie said...

the things I do (in no particular order): treadmill, walk the dog, eat licorice, take a nap, blog ;)

kanishk said...

I'm in the same stage, so really, I feel for you.

Work from home India

Kathryn Magendie said...

Since I now see that goal at the end - book on bookshelf and the deadlines I have to meet to get it there, it alters how I look at the writing process, editing and revisions included! If I am bored, I have only to remember I must get it done Or Else *laughing*

Natalie said...

I have days like that too! My best weapon against sluggish revising is having my husband (or mom or brother) read the manuscript. They are all gentle and positive and that makes me want to keep at it. Tough critiques are GREAT and I love them, but there's also something to be said for readers who love everything you do (especially when you don't). :)

Fragrant Liar said...

Yeah, revising is the easy part; staying motivated, not so much. So I'm here for the advice, and I'm going back up the comment trail here to glean something to take back with me!

Thanks for posing the question.

Mrsblogalot said...

When my box is empty I read.

I don't even attempt to fill it or it will become forced and ultimately filled with unwanted content.

In other words, my box is filled with invisible patience (-:

Julie said...

I left you something on my blog!!! You already have it, but I don't care. :)

Terresa said...

I try and stay motivated through taking a break, doing "real world" research, and playing with my kids. Unwinding has a way of helping me let go and come back to my work refreshed.