Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The 5 Stages Of Revising

After receiving notes back from one of my CP's and betas, I have begun the process of revising my ms again. Their advice has been tough, honest, and exactly what I needed to kick my ms into what it needs to be. The thing is, I found something strange while going through this process. Revisions are a lot like dealing with grief. I'm not saying that the two are the same. That is far from being true. But any author who has dealt with the nasty revision process can tell you that you do in fact go through the same stages. Below you will find the 5 stages of revising through this writer's eyes.

Stage 1. Denial: "What are they talking about? This is totally fine. They must be crazy!"
Yes, I have said this. In fact, it was during my first round of revisions and before I met my CP's and betas. (The crazy person by the way would be my husband. I'm sorry for saying it now, but his advice was hard to hear at the time.) The point I'm making here is, we all go through the denial process. We all think something about our ms is fine even though others are saying otherwise. Once you push past this phase and accept that they're/we're not trying to hurt you, the better off your ms will be. I promise!

Stage 2. Anger: "Why don't they get it? Why are they coming after me? It's like they're jealous!" Or "Why did I write this crap? It sucks!"
I've never said the first one, but I have a friend who did. Yes, The second one is me. I have been angry. But it was at myself for writing something that wasn't up to my standards. The thing I've learned is that anger comes along with the job of being an author. Not everyday will be all, "Oh! This is totally good!" Most days will be, "What was I thinking?" Come to terms with this and make your life a lot easier. Accept the anger and find ways to deal with it that won't effect the people you love. My favorite thing is to listen to music or watch something that makes me laugh. Do whatever works best for you.

Stage 3. Bargaining: "I'll give you my first born if you won't suck!"
*giggles* I admit it. I have offered my first born (whenever I have one) to an ms before if only it wouldn't suck. Unfortunately for it, the ms still sucks to this day and has never been seen by another's eyes. I've heard many people pleading for this exact thing, (Not sucking. Not my first born, silly) and until the end of words will continue doing it. Bargaining will do nothing to help your ms shine. Only hard work can do that. But it may make you feel better if you do it. So, make all the bargains you want. Just as long as it's nothing that will actually happen. Like unicorns taking over the earth or something.

Stage 4. Depression: "I'm a horrible writer. Why should I even bother finishing it when it sucks so much?"
Ah, I know this stage well. I've went through it many times with this ms and will see it with many others I'm sure. I've cried and just sat around not writing. Then my hubby, CP's, or another writer friend will say something that shows me that I'm only seeing the shadows and not the light that is the heartbeat of what I love to do. When you reach this stage, and you will, find what made you love writing. And realize that being depressed isn't going to help anything. Once again, that's something only hard work will do! Now, smile!!

And finally, Stage 5. Acceptance: "I can do this! This will be THE ONE! I can feel it!"
Once you accept that your CP's, betas, or whoever critiqued your work isn't trying to hurt you and your ms doesn't suck, you will see everything more clearly. I've been through the other stages and have seen the light. I've been here for a while actually. Sure, there are times I get down; but everybody does. Once I accept that it's just words and I have the power to change them, the more I smile and write. Accepting help is a good thing as well as accepting what is wrong with your ms will help you fix it. Once you reach this stage, a weight will be lifted and the words will flow again. I'm so happy to be at this stage. It feels good.

Now that you know the 5 stages of revising, I hope it makes your revision process go easier. Know you're not alone when you go through any of these stages. We all feel this way one time or another. It's all how you deal with it is what counts. Now, happy writing my lovely followers!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how this makes soooo much sense. When placing stages to how I feel, it makes the whole writing up's and down's a whole lot more managebale. Thanks for pointing them out!