Tuesday, April 14, 2015

THRIVE Launch Week 3: The Itch-Scratch Edit-Rewrite Cycle

Anyone who has eczema or suffered through chicken pox or even the seasonal mosquitoes of New Jersey knows...the itch-scratch cycle sucks.

You have to scratch, because you itch. And nothing is worse than itching. So you scratch - applying pain and pleasure in a single act to that itch source. For a little while it's fine. But you didn't satisfy the problem. The itch comes back. So you scratch. Then you itch. So you scratch.

You scratch so much you scrape your skin off....but you still itch.

There's a similar thing in writing - revision.

You can revise until you die.

That is the problem. You can revise and revise and poke and prod, but at some point you have to just accept your little creation for what it is. There will always be a better book somewhere. There will always be a worse one. There will always be a better edit. There will always be a worse one.

At some point, you have to push your baby into the world, and see if it will fly.

I, strangely, have the opposite problem. I'm overly eager to finish. I accept my creation, flawed as it is, much sooner than my other writing friends. How do I know this? Well, because I've recently become acquainted with some writers who have worked on the same individual manuscript for years. Some a decade.

I would go crazy. Actually certifiable.

We both have something to learn from the other: One needs to let go of the piece, and accept perfection is impossible. The other needs to honor the piece, and take care to let it shine for all its worth.

This is the lesson my beloved friend and editor is teaching me. And I am grateful, and humbled, and struggle with every second of this lesson.

For the most part I thought I was done with THRIVE, and in many ways I am. However, if I really want it to show its worth, I need to be willing to cut things out. I need to be willing to remove distracting bits or unpack distracting omissions. This is where editing and proofing are so important. This is what polishing is all about.

So that's what I did today, all day. I polished. And I thought. And I will have more to do tomorrow. It means the other things I wanted to work on will get pushed back, which is frustrating, but necessary. I need THRIVE to shine, so I need to polish.
Here is my progress from last week:
  • 88% done proofing THE BROTHERS
  • 95% done polishing THRIVE
  • Wrote an intro video script
  • Wrote a list of influencer/organization lists for press kits
  • Revised my press kit
  • Finished about half my novel descriptions
  • Finished about three-quarters of my revamped LOVERS & RIVALS cover
  • Did some sketch art based on the Khloe novels
  • Brainstormed some social media campaign tags
  • Uploaded new book descriptions to Smashwords on several novels
  • Changed Smashwords category tags on several novels
  • Confirmed website design
  • Talked over revised press kit with beta readers
  • Wrote blog posts
My goals for week 4 are as follows:
  • Finish proofing THE BROTHERS
  • Proof a shorter piece
  • Finish revising THRIVE
  • Incorporate feedback on THRIVE journal guide
  • Incorporate feedback on press kit
  • Upload sketch art to Patreon for fantastic patrons
  • Write blog posts
  • Upload revamped BROTHERS cover art and book to Smashwords
I think that's it...and I'll keep you posted. Scratch, scratch.

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