Monday, May 10, 2010

I Hate Revisions!


Phew! I feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest.
Feeling rather grumpy at the moment, hiding deep within my revision cave. Revisions on Book #3, Colorado Cowboy - about the oldest of the O’Malley brothers, Luke, the rancher - are due next Monday and the closer that day draws, the grumpier I get.
The grumpiness is entirely my own fault. I’m a procrastinator who will find any excuse not to sit at my computer and work through the detailed revision notes my lovely editor, Paula Eykelhof, has taken a great deal of time and pains over.
The procrastination stems from the fact that I’m over this story and want to move on to the next. Suddenly, the study needs tidying, the garden is overgrown and needs urgent attention, the house could probably do with being repainted (and while I’m at it, I might just completely renovate the bathroom as well). I haven’t seen friends for lunch in ages (so let’s go out to lunch every day for two weeks to avoid sitting at that keyboard). And don’t get me on the distraction of Solitaire’s Spider 4 Decks. Trying to maintain a perfect 100% score while attempting to complete this beastly game in under nineteen minutes, is the biggest timewaster ever!
It’s pathetic but true, I will do anything to avoid doing Revisions!
As the deadline draws ever nearer, I become more and more frustrated with myself and my inability to apply myself to this most important part of the publication process, instead of allowing myself to be distracted by minutiae .
It’s a classic Catch 22, I want to be done with this book, but in order to do that, I have to refine it, tidy it, fine-tune it to my editor’s satisfaction. But I’m a Sagittarian, easily bored, looking constantly for new adventures (ie. delving into the lives of my last two O’Malley brothers, Jack, the ex-priest and Adam the Fireman).
I resent the revision process with a vengeance bordering on downright loathing because it’s keeping me from exploring these two hunks and the women who tame them.
Plus, there’s that Jane Austen time travel story that’s demanding I write it, my Masters research paper to be completed, and several single title romantic comedies that I’m dying to finish writing. But, alas! Duty calls. And her name is, Discipline!
I love writing, love the creative process, love being lost within the story and bringing it to life. I could easily write a book in 2 weeks, so absorbed am I in getting it from brain to fingertips to keyboard. And when that’s done, I’m ready to move on to the next story.
In an ideal world, I’d be so mega rich that I could employ an anally retentive person to take care of what I consider to be all the boring bits about writing, while I was left to lie around on my pink sofa, swathed in a pink feather boa, clasping my dear little pink poodle to my pink bosom… (sound of stylus scraping across record).
Sorry, getting carried away with someone else’s fantasy there, but I think you get my point. The problem with this idealized vision is that the changes to the story my editor requires would be someone else’s changes and I, sequestered in my Writing Tower, would neither notice nor care that the story was no longer mine.
Which rather defeats the purpose of creating the story in the first place.
So, with another fantasy dashed by cold reality, I shall gird my loins, put nose to grindstone, grit my teeth, shoulder my responsibilities and finish those detested revisions!
Writing used to be so much more fun before I was published.

How do you feel about revisions and would you like to be my slave er… Revisionista!
(just kidding, sort of…)

I’m giving away a copy of Book #2 in The O’Malley men series, The Sheriff and the Baby, to anyone who comes up with a feasible plan to keep me chained to my keyboard until these revisions are finished.

Til next time, when I hope I’m in a better mood.
CC

40 comments:

Anita Joy said...

Book yourself back into that spa CC (or if you are still Down Under our equivalent, there must be one in the hills behind the coast)... but you can only go once those revisions are done!! I'd have them done and be out the door if I had that on offer

Sandy said...

CC, come on! Tell us how you really feel about revisions. :) And have you tried doing them at gun point? Though I have to admit Anita's idea holds great merit.

CC Coburn said...

Anita! I love you! Yes, another spa is just the treat I need to get my butt in the chair and finish the rotten things.
CC

CC Coburn said...

Now Sandy, you know I'm never backwards in coming forwards.
I don't hink I'll suggest the gunpoint scenario to my husband, he might jsut take me seriously!
CC

Maree Anderson said...

I feel your pain, CC! I'm doing revisions at the moment....'nuff said.

But the way I treat them is like work -- often unpleasant as all heck, but I gotta do it to get paid! And that new book waiting in the wings, clamoring to be written? Starting that is my reward for getting those pesky revisions done.

Besides, I want that published book to be the best one I can possibly write at the time. And I'm relieved that my editor feels the same. Would be awful if she didn't care enough to bother and went with the "it is what it is" way of thinking, i.e. schedule it for publications and shrug and move onto the next manuscript.

There's a recent post on Moonrat's Editorial Ass blog on just that subject that's sure to strike fear into your heart:
http://editorialass.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-what-it-is-ism-or-why-you-must-be.html

Convinced yet? LOL.

Hugs
Maree

Louise Reynolds said...

You're so not the pink boa type,CC :-) But I love the way you're encouraging yourself with all those cliches. Yes to the awful revisions - tweak something in one place and watch all the little problems pop up. It will all be worth it in the end though. Hang in there.

CC Coburn said...

Yes, and thank you for that sobering post, Maree :-((((
I know the revision process will make the book sooo much better, and that was proven with my first book Colorado Christmas. I really hated that book by the time I hit Send the very last time. But when I held my firstborn in my hands and then read it, I thought, "Yes!" All the blood, sweat, tears and tantrums were worth it, because Paula's guidance had made it so much better than it could ever have been before she worked her magic with the editing pen. :-)
CC

CC Coburn said...

whoops! There was supposed to be a very big grin after those downturned mouths, Maree, not sure how to make it work here. Sorry! Wasn't being nasty. I was smiling like a loon. :-)
CC

CC Coburn said...

Louise, you sound like a drill sargeant with a wet noodle. :-)
CCx

Pamela Stone said...

CC and Maree. Right there with you. My revisions are due the end of the month. And it's SPRING! And there are so many things I'd like to be doing.

Revisions are work. They aren't fun, especially when there are other things I'd like and need to be doing. The good thing about mine though is that I do agree with what my editor wants. And I do love the characters and have confidence it will be a better book for having made the revisions. Crazy person that I am, getting back into this story is like visiting old friends, so it's sort of cool anyway. But I do have two other projects I was working on so coming back to this story did take a change in mindset.

Hey CC, I'm so not the pink feather boa type either, but the fantasy certainly has merit. I'm thinking beach house, hunk who likes to cook for me. Long walks on the beach to work out my plot points...

I am going on vacation next week, but the laptop will be part of my luggage.

Enough procrastinating. BACK TO REVISIONS!

CC Coburn said...

LOL! And that would be the hunk on your website who'll be in the kitchen? Now where were you holidaying again? :-)
And I agree completely with everything my editor says (well, we've had a couple of stand-offs) :-) but she's always spot on about what needs fixing.Good luck with your revisions (and the hunk!) too.

Maree Anderson said...

That post was a bit of an eye-opener, wasn't it? I went, ULP! And resolved to be a good girl and try my hardest not grump over revisions ever again. Riiiight ;-)

And doncha hate it when your editor's right? LOLOL! Hmmm... must dig out my hot pink feather boa and my hot pink wig. Now where was I? Oh yeah. Back to revisions. Mutter mutter growl groan.

Pamela Stone said...

I'm headed to California for a week. A few days with a friend in Palm Springs. I have my own casita at her place and last time I was there, got a lot of writing done. Then driving to Pismo Beach with another friend and up the Pacific Coast Highway. This is my annual week away from hubby to spend with some of my girl buddies. I'd HOPED to be done with the revisions before, but oh well.

And oh yes, that hunk on my website would do nicely in my fantasy.

Nicole S said...

I'm just happy to hear about you working on the rest of the O'Malley clan.

I have no advice because I'm a procrastinator myself, but I do my best when I have a time crunch.

Laney4 said...

I too am a procrastinator. The only thing I can think of (because I'm heading off to bed to ignore my own work responsibilities) is to surround yourself with your distractions. For example, keep your drinks nearby so you don't have to go elsewhere to get a refill. If you really want that chocolate, fine, keep it nearby and eat it as a reward, perhaps every hour or two. Do you really want to hear a certain song? Play it once every two hours. That's it. Now I'm off to bed to get 6-7 hours of sleep so I can start again tomorrow, hopefully refreshed. Good luck!

Linda Henderson said...

Promise yourself something you've been wanting really bad when you finish. Like a new purse, shoes, some really decadent chocolate, or better yet, a weekend at a bed and breakfast with your man.

CC Coburn said...

Ooh, Pamela! I'm getting on a plane to California as we speak - I love the Pacific Coast! (actually I'm not really flying to CA right now - just fantasizing aobut it - and the hunk!
Have a lovely time, but I'm osrry you have t take the dreaded revisions with you. Are you going to Nationals this year? Now it's been changed to Orlando I'm thinking of going IF I'm in the States then. (always had a hankering to go to Florida) :-)

CC Coburn said...

Thank you Nicole! I'm glad you enjoyed Colorado Christmas enough to want to read more of those gorgeous O'Malley Men.
And yes, one thing you can say about us procrastinators is, we work brilliantly (and obsessively) under pressure! :-)

CC Coburn said...

Oh Linda, there's something I love way more than a new pair of shoes, chocolate etc. and Anita hit the nail on the head! I'm going to start hunting for another ownderful spa hotel and finish the other half of Adam's story (the one I started in a spa in Boulder CO) What bliss!
Might even let the hubby come with me this time :-)

Sharon Archer said...

Hey CC, hugs on the revisions! They're hard but it's so worth it in the end! Now, you sit down on that chair in your office and stop remodelling the bathroom immediately.... says me, as I cast an eye over the awful wallpaper on my bathroom wall and think how nice painted walls would be, and a new vanity unit... and a lovely new vinyl to replace the lino tiles on the floor...

ahem... as I was saying. do what I say NOT what I do!

Good luck with those polishings!
:)
Sharon

CC Coburn said...

LOL! Sharon I'm so glad to hear there are others seriously thinking about remodelling the bathroom, kitchen ANY room! Oh, and while I'm at it, I might reorganize my rare toothpick collection, alphabetize my face-creams, clean the barbie, turn the mattress, take the faithful hound for a walk and shave my legs. there! that should successfully waste quite a few good hours...:-)

Keziah Hill said...

Ok CC. What you need is some positive envisioning. Imagine that if you get these revisions done you will have time to achieve your dreams (cabana boys, pink boas etc). Think in terms of reward not pain. Wait, am I talking to you or me? ....

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, you sound like me, procrastinating like mad. But hey, congrats on Spider Solitaire 4 deck. I can only manage 2. I suggest chaining the only supply of chocolate, coffee and/or booze in the house to the computer. Guaranteed you won't leave it then... Good luck!
Malvina

Serena said...

What? You don't swan around in a pink feather boa?? I'm shattered! I thought all published romance authors did that day and night!

My suggestion is you buy yourself the biggest box of Lindt Lindor Balls (or Ferrero Rocher or chocolates of choice)and you're not allowed to open it until those revisions are on their way to your lovely editor.

OK you can have one.

OK you can have two.

But you must revise because we all can't wait to read Luke's story!!

BTW I kinda like the editing process, but then I don't have a deadline for my work ;-P

Hugs
Serena
xoxox

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi CC, yes procrastination is an evil thing, I am so with you on that one! Still, we get there in the end...
I see revisions as a chance to polish a good story into an excellent one with feedback from editors who know so much more about the market than we mere authors. Or should I say an "award-winning" book like Colorado Christmas.You have collected quite the swag of awards for this book already!
I love your cover of The Sheriff and the Baby--I saw it got an excellent review in RT, too.
So envisage this next book with a wonderful cover and lots of readers enjoying it--and get on with it!

CC Coburn said...

LOL Keziah! Leave those cabana boys alone you hussy! And I think you'd look great in a pink boa - how aobut one for the Fantasy Island theme for the RWAus cocktail party? You could go as the great diva herself! heck, you could make yourself a cute little French maid's outfit cleverly crafted from her book covers and top it with the boa. :-)
Pity most of the attendees are women...

CC Coburn said...

Malvina and Serena (shaking head) You want me to have a bum as big as yours???? (snort!)
Sadly, I'm not fond of chocolate, but since you both are, how about you eat some for me when I'm finished?
Malvina, I'll bet you two Spider decks and up you two! Come on, you can do it if I can.
Serena, you're a sad, sad women if you like revising. would you like a job revising mine? :-)

CC Coburn said...

Oh Kandy, your wise words are just the pick-me-up I need! Strange how I can actually hear your voice... as if you're int he room... looking over my shoulder...
But yes, you're so right, revisions are evil, but they sure as heck make the book shine to its full potential. Colorado Christmas wouldn't be where it is without Paula's guidance (and my obediently obeying her!) ;-)
And am envising the cover of Luke's story... drool... hunky rancher...looking straight at the camera. (sigh)
Revisions are like having a rotten tooth pulled, you feel so much better when it's done!

The Track Down Girl said...

Personally, I don't mind revisions at all. Anything that makes the book better.

Good luck with getting them done. Reward yourself. You'll get through it. :-)

Cher

Melanie Milburne said...

CC I am going out on a limb here to say I quite like revisions. I find them a challenge certainly, but I have never once regretted putting in the changes that were suggested. Of course some work and others don't, and I trust my gut to use the ones that work best with my story idea, but when they are finished it is such a great feeling of satisfaction.
I am not by nature a procrastinator but I live with several so I know the process! I wish they would clean out the cupboards while they avoid what they should be doing!
I am sure this book will be as brilliant as the others. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I know you can do it, hon! I've seen the proof! Okay, so baby steps ... baby steps!

Cheers,

Jan

chey said...

Sometimes, when I'm on a deadline, I break down what I have to do into a step by step list. Then each time I get a part of what I have to do done, I cross it off the list.

Kitty Bucholtz said...

CC, maybe you could tie a piece of string from both of your wrists to the keyboard. You could look like the grown-up equivalent of little kids whose moms sewed their mittens to a long string and threaded it through their coat sleeves. Mittens never got lost. Your keyboard would never be far away! At some point your arms would get tired and you'd finish the revisions just to be free. [grin]

CC Coburn said...

LOL! Cher, I fear you and Serena are twins separated at birth! Remind me never to be in the same room with you both at the same time (thoerwise you'll have an ear each to nag into to tell me how great doing revisions are!) :-)
How's the weather in CO atm?

CC Coburn said...

Melanie, I couldn't agree more, they are worth it in the end, and I know I'll never regret doing them, it's just getting in the chair and doing them in the first place that I have trouble with. Do I need a specialist author's psychologist?

CC Coburn said...

Jan, watch out, you might get to read these revisions sooner than you thought!

Hey Chey, that's a great idea to make a list, only problem is, I'm so disorganised I lose them. I'll try to be good and buy and really big bright notepad and make a list in there. Of course you realise list-making is another form of procrastination don't you? :-)

CC Coburn said...

Clever idea Kitty, will look for string at once! :-)

How's the Masters going?

Anonymous said...

That was what I was afeared of !!! :))

Cheers,

Jan

CC Coburn said...

Okay, cue the drumroll. Great comments everyone, but the winner of a brand spaking shiny new copy of The Sheriff and the Baby is... Anita Joy! (for reminding me to treat myself to something really special when the revisions are done.
Although I loved everyone else's comments too.
So I'm giving another one away to Kandy Shepherd for reminding me just how important those revisions are to polishing a good story into a (hopefully!) excellent one.
Thanks ladies!

Anita Joy said...

Yay, thanks CC. Will drool over those yummy O'Malley Men and try not to think about the luxurious time you'll be having at your reward spa.