Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to a wonderful teleclass that was
given by Suzanne Lieurance about how to review a picture book manuscript.
It had the hands-on feel of a workshop and it was so wonderfully instructive
I find the revision process really tedious and boring. I kind of want the
manuscript to be revised and then sent off as quickly as possible. I am quite
impatient and I keep thinking that it shouldn’t take so long.
However, as I learned yesterday, the revision process can be a wonderful
experience if you just relax into it and let things transpire as they will. I
sometimes like to force myself to mould my manuscripts quickly. But I
learned that this isn’t always the best thing to do.
What I keep forgetting is that there is an organic process that goes into
revision, and if I try to force the revision process, the dynamics of the process
becomes disrupted and ruined. But even more importantly, I start feeling
overwhelmed and I start lacking confidence as a writer. I keep feeling that
this manuscript should already be out. But if the time isn’t right, then the
manuscript will probably be rejected anyway by editors.
So, after the workshop, I sat down for a while and reflected why I keep
feeling this way. Why am I overwhelmed when I revise picture book
manuscripts? I opened my journal and wrote for over an hour. And at the
end of the hour, I discovered a lot of habitual patterns of thought about
revision that had to change if I am to be successful. Most of them had to do
with my self-image as a writer.
I hope that you will take the time to go through this process yourself. Sit
down and reflect on how the revision process is for you and whether you like
it or not. Journal about it until you have gained a lot of insight and
knowledge into why revision is such a negative experience for you. Once
you are aware of why this is the case, you’ll be able to make revision a much
more positive time for you.
I have so enjoyed being part of the Children’s Writers Coaching Club. I
have learned so much and I am growing as a writer. For more information
on the club, please visit http://www.cwcoachingclub.com or click on the
link at the right.