My Book / My YA Novel / On Writing / Writing Life

The Gift of Revision Blitz

 As my hiatus continues, I’ve been reading and writing probably triple the amount that I’ve done in the past year. I’m reading books that have been on my shelf for years and experiencing the bliss of ‘timing’ when taking in their stories. Some books I’d started reading previously but couldn’t get into them. Now, I’m diving in and loving them. Needing them. I carry a book with me everywhere. If I can get a page in while waiting in line, I do. Last night, I read for an hour. A solid hour! Just laying in my bed, reading by the light of the setting sun. Last week I read The Marsh King’s Daughter in two days. Two days! It’s written by a dear inspiration and friend, Karen Dionne. I urge you to pick it up and get swept away. You won’t be disappointed – thrilled, excited and scared…maybe, but definitely not disappointed.

I finished a journal and began a new one. I’m already a quarter in. Self-reflection and reading are my swords. I’m feeling stronger every day…though this change that’s happening is still rocking my core.

But that’s what I want.

So I’m doing something I’ve never done.

I’m giving myself the gift of the blitz. The revision blitz. I’ve rented a room in a bed & breakfast from Saturday at 9 am until Sunday at 6pm. It’s almost two full days of time to revise and write. Two full days of uninterrupted writing. Friends of mine do this every year (Christian & Ben!), and they’ve inspired me to do the same. Just get away to write. Away doesn’t even have to be far – the B&B is in Windsor! The point is that I will be alone in a room to write.

I started writing this Hangman novel years ago (who’s counting?!). I sent it to an agent. She gave me pages of feedback. I’ve been working on revisions based on her feedback for…um…over a year (who’s counting?). I love working on this story. I feel alive and connected when I working on it. Alas, it is a monster in size. Editing and revising poetry is such a different beast…and I just get overwhelmed very quickly when I think about working on revisions for Hangman. I have been slowly cutting away at revisions…putting in a half-hour here an hour there. I’m at least a third in, and I’ve figured out plot and structure issues that needed to be dealt with. But, as disciplined as I have been in the past for this novel, and as disciplined as I know I can be for my writing in general, I just can’t seem to get my arse down to give any large chunks of time to revisions.

Summer vacation has officially started. I’m home with the kids the three days a week that during the school year, I used for writing. I can write when the kids are home…but not for too long. And, honestly, I don’t want to. I love being with my kids. I love our home. I love our pool. I love our wildly inconsistent schedule. I love that the kids see me writing and reading, but that they get my full attention more. I always think: what am I teaching them? When I read, they see me reading. I’m teaching them that reading is an every-day-occurance. When I write, they know I’m ‘working’. That I’m putting in the time and practicing my craft. I’m teaching them that it takes practice to be good at what you love. When I’m with them, I’m with them. I’m practicing being in the moment. Something that I lost along the way…I’m teaching them that being with someone fully and completely takes practice too. We’re having a wonderful time together. I’m proud of us. I love this time of  year. I want to keep loving it. Keep learning from it.

But this weekend…I’m consciously taking time. This way, I can BLITZ the work. Put my head in the hangman game, keep it there, play there – and work my ass off to get the rest of revisions complete.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it. To get to the end. But, I’m gonna work really damn hard. I’m extremely hopeful. So send me solid writing vibes, okay?

I have to believe in this story and give it a life outside of my heart and head. It belongs in the world. I have to believe in myself. That I can do it. I’m hoping that giving myself the gift of the blitz is exactly the medicine the writer in me needs to lift up.

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