Writing is an easy, quick way to get rich, right? I know, I know, stop laughing.
We've all learned that writing can be a long, arduous process that's not for the faint of heart. It's a profession where dogged determination rises above speed. It involves hard work, constant learning, failure, and the desire to take the long view of our writing careers.
I'm preparing to tackle the daunting task of a big revision. I opened REVISION AND SELF EDITING** by James Scott Bell and instantly felt at ease. He reminds us that most successful people take "the long view." For example, doctors train for years before they're able to practice medicine. It's a long road for them, but in the end, it's worth it. Same with writing. When it comes to revision, Bell advises, "Don't look at the mountaintop. Look at the path in front of you." Here are some of Bell's wise words about revision:
Take the long view and learn to see revision as a friend. Being a smart, disciplined reviser delivers a number of benefits:
- It makes you a better writer. With each revision session you learn more about your craft, and the next time you write you'll write stronger.
- It marks you as a professional. Editors and agents who see your work ethic will be more certain of your ability to produce good books.
- It builds confidence and encourages you to stretch your horizons.
- It is its own reward. When you've put in good, solid revision time, you rest easier at the end of the day.
This is why I heart James Scott Bell. Our favorite books were revised like crazy, and we should expect to do the same. Yes, a major revision takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work, but future readers deserve nothing less from us.
Is revision your favorite or least favorite part of the process? And have you ever tackled a major revision?
**Yes, I'm obsessed with Bell's books. I refer to them over and over again because his writing books have helped me that much. I'm sharing what I'm learning along the way.