So I thought I'd talk just a bit about writing, and something a lot of writers struggle with in their first drafts - revision addiction. And by this I mean the constant revising of what you've already written. I know lots of writers that go over and over and over their first chapters, trying to get them Absolutely. Perfect. And what happens? Months later, they still haven't got past their first few chapters. (Confession - this used to be me.)
I was reminded of this by a Twitter conversation this morning with agent-sister @MeganPwrites and our fearless leader @JoSVolpe. Megan made a comment "the worst is when I make a change that affects something earlier." Ah, yes.
It's bad enough that we want to make every sentence perfect as we go along, but then when we change the plot just slightly so that it messes something up that came before, what's a writer to do?
Press on, I say. Press on. In my latest manuscript I was hung up for something like two or three weeks, eek - WEEKS! trying to figure out the time line for two chapters near the end. I knew how I wanted it to end. I had a good inkling of the sequence of events leading up to the ending, but I couldn't get past the terrible conundrum of these two chapters.
Finally, I said heck with it, jotted a few notes to myself of what I need to fix, and pressed on. I wrote the exciting sequence of events towards the end, I wrote the exciting climax, and I wrote the ending. Happy and satisfied, I went back and fixed the two problem chapters and it wasn't really so hard after all. Hey, I had finished the book - what were a couple of problem chapters?
So my advice today, before I head out for another long day of pricing our wonderful junk (er, I mean treasures) is Press On. Finish the chapter. Finish the book. Your feeling of satisfaction and completion will give you renewed energy to go back and fix the things you need to - later.
Carry on, hope your writing flows, and don't forget to listen to the birds sing.
P.S. How do you handle revision addiction? Can you keep going, knowing what you've written is not perfect?