Fuel for the Cave

My deadline is just a few weeks away, so I am still in the revision cave! I revised chapters 5-7 and did a final read-through of the manuscript. Now it’s back to hammering out chapter 1 and constructing my pitch / query letter / synopsis. (EEK!)

Of course, my lovely CP’s have offered to help me with this so I can’t be *too* scared but it does remain my absolute least-favorite part of finishing a book.

My book-buying ban / reading restrictions (i.e. only lunch breaks, pretty much) have helped me stay on track with my revision goals, so as a reward I’m reading ALL the things beginning July 11th!

Finally, I’ll leave you with how I managed to keep motivated and happy during these revisions – my cave fuel:

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1) Amazing critique partners

Anytime I was stuck, discouraged, or needed feedback, my lovely cult of writing women was there for me! Commiseration, ideas, and all the wine–I don’t know how I managed to write for so many years without them but I do know I’ve never had revisions go so well for me. It’s thanks to them! Every book is a group effort!

2) Deadlines

With the goal of pitching at Leviosa Con, I had no choice but to have everything ready by a certain date. I’ve never had a firm deadline before, and it has been incredibly helpful to me! (And stressful, yes). I made weekly goals leading up to it (again, using this fun little app called Habitica) and by breaking it down into smaller pieces, I was able to keep the Revision Monster from terrifying me into paralysis. I was excited to see my progress each week!

3) Chocolate

I’ve consumed an ungodly amount of this over the last 3 months. Just sayin’. I regret nothing. If you want to be more official, chalk this up to “make your work space a pleasant place to be” or whatever.

4) Blogs/Podcasts/Social Media

How was this anything other than a distraction? Because I had specific reasons for utilizing them! Podcasts about writing (thank you Katy!) recharged my batteries while I was at work. Other blogs reminded me why I’m doing all this – for people who love to read, and to be a part of a community of people who love to write. Twitter is 50/50 distraction/informational for me. When I needed a break, I scoured Twitter for book news, author updates, agent posts–generally keeping myself informed and motivated to pitch soon!

5) I came up with something new

It may sound insane to think about a new story idea when you’re frantically trying to finish another one, but I actually found this incredibly refreshing!

We had a long road trip through Kansas in the middle of the night, and I was daydreaming (as usual) when a Shiny New Idea struck and refused to leave my mind. I was ecstatic! I wrote down so many notes for it and felt so recharged. I’m not sure how my book will be received when I pitch it–I’m not sure if it will do well enough to warrant querying many agents. I was terrified that after years of work I’d be back at square zero. Not square one, because that’s an idea, but square zero of an empty creative tank. I’ve been devoted to this single book for a loooooong time. I’ve never spent much time coming up with new ideas–what if I couldn’t?! What if I was a total fraud? A one not-even-hit wonder? I’m incredibly excited and relieved that this isn’t true. šŸ™‚

Now, back to the cave for the home stretch!

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