I’m deep in the labyrinth of another revision this week, and perhaps the most important thing I’ve realized is this: I am nothing if not consistent. I may approach the writing differently for every revision, but I always progress through the same stages of my creative process, the same mindsets and emotional quagmires. I’ve been through them so many times now that I can clearly recognize them, like old friends, or maybe like old archenemies. To tell you the truth, I mostly resent them, but I guess, in the end, they are mine, my stages of revision.
1. Reading the Edit Letter
2. Last 3 Days of Freedom
3. Revision Triage
4. I Have Made a Huge Mistake Part I: Biting Off More Than I Can Chew
5. I Can Work Without Weekends!
6. I Have Made a Huge Mistake Part II: Day 4 Breakdown
7. I’m Not Mad At You I’m Thinking
8. How Is There Still ⅔ Left?
9. Permanent Brain Fog
10. Parks and Recreation Rewatch
12. Constant Neck Pain
13. No Time for Exercising (But All the Time for Naps)
14. Dark Night of the Soul
15. Hug a Dog
16. What Day Is It?
17. Cookies Please
18. Am I Laughing or Crying?
19. Every Day 3 A.M. Wake Up (Thinking About the Book)
20. Deadline Met/Anticlimactic Email Sent
21. Sick for a Week
(I’m currently in “Am I Laughing or Crying?” so please send your good thoughts my way.)
Why is my brain like this? Why can’t the stages of my revision process be “The Best Sleep I Have Ever Had” or “Also Clean Everything”? It’s kind of hellish having to live through some of these things over and over again, it’s also weirdly kind of nice recognizing these waypoints for what they are: temporary. Just part of the process. In the midst of everything, it’s a comfort to know that nothing lasts forever, and however bad my current stage of revision feels, it won’t always feel that way.