I am not sure I have cultivated the attributes needed to stay sane as a writer. I put a lot of pressure on myself in life and it often bubbles over into other areas, especially writing. Most of the time, I enjoy writing, and rather than making me insane, it helps me to cope with other stress. I love to draft and create. On the other hand, revision and editing can send me over the edge and lead to procrastination.
Even after submitting Apocalipstick to Eternal Press, the revision process had really just begun. I never considered how it would be AFTER the book was accepted for publication that I would revise in such depth. I am glad I did, and, at times, still wish I had the chance to do more. After an editor had looked at the copy, my once fluent prose seemed choppy, my witty sentences contrived, my vocabulary stunted. I was flummoxed. I spent such a long time getting the manuscript ready for submission that to see the need for additional changes was hard. It drove me over the edge. My problem then and now is I want find the perfect word for the perfect sentence, and my writing is never perfect. Even though I know revision is a critical part of completing a novel and creating the best possible story, I dread it.
As of writing this, my second book is sitting on the kitchen table waiting to be revised. It’s been there a long time. I’ve learned much from Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing. The only way to improve the craft is to read, write, and then repeat the process. Read. Write. Repeat. Easier said than done. I am procrastinating and it drives me crazy. I need to get over stalling if I want to remain sane. When revising starts me screaming and pulling out my hair what do I do? I take a long walk and listen to a good audio book or some music. Then I go home, pick up the manuscript and get to work. If all else fails, I reach for a large glass of wine.