Friday, December 16, 2016

For every minute I spend rewriting/editing, I have to take an equal amount of time off.

Roughly, I can edit about 5 pages in an hour.  But then my brain simply stops functioning. All I see are words.

So I have to go off and do something else for an hour, then come back. Sounds easy enough, right? Except every time I come back I have to remotivate myself. That's hard.

Editing uses a different part of the brain, somehow. Here's the thing--you might think I'm disciplined because I write so much.  When I'm writing the first draft, it's all fun. I'm not tired at the end of a session, I'm invigorated. I stop myself from writing more than about 2000 words because I know that I'm always fresher when I start so I save it up for the next day. But it's fun for me.

Rewriting? I just have to knuckle down. I'm intellectually lazy. So I need to impose the Five Minute Rule (do something for five minutes and usually I'll keep going.)  After about an hour I look up blurry eyed and have done some good work.

I can see the improvements. So much so that I probably shouldn't just settle for one rewrite, but do several. Arrrgghhh.

Given enough time, I can do that. Time is what I need, and time is what I have (knock wood.)

I gather from what I read that other writers have the opposite experience. The writing of the first draft is the hard part, and settling in on the rewrite is what they enjoy. If so, I'm awed by their dedication. Because there is no way I could tackle the hard part if I didn't already have a complete book in front of me.

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