I printed out my 100,000 word sci-fi manuscript last week, fully intending to start the final big revision this week. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you plan.
My daughter has been home from school for 2 days. She was sick enough to not go to school, but not sick enough to stop her wanting to play and run around. It’s been hard to get anything done, and forget about the concentration needed to edit! So the manuscript still sits on the table, untouched.
My daughter went back to school this morning, but did I jump into revision? No. Two nights of shattered sleep wiped me out. So I took a nap for 3 hours instead of the 1 hour I had intended! But it was just as well, because between the headache and the fuzzy brain, none of my edits would have been as sharp as I needed.
Tomorrow, assuming no relapse and a daughter in school, I will separate out the 3 points-of-view of my manuscript and begin the process of revising each one. I will sharpen conflict and tension in each scene, make sure I use enough sensory detail, and ensure that the character voice is consistent.
I am not a person who likes change. Routines help keep my anxiety in check, and keep me feeling productive. When life disrupts my plans, it makes me irritated and anxious. But life often has other plans for us. So instead of diving into the revision of my sci-fi novel, I spent the days reading to my daughter, playing games like Monopoly, Sleeping Queens, and Candyland, and helping her build a fort in the upstairs foyer.
And that’s not so bad.
How do you deal with detours in your writing process?