Rebounding from Resistance

Sometimes you just need a good pep talk.

Both of my parents are excellent at telling it like it is and telling me to: “just do it already.” And sometimes I really need to hear that.

Resistance takes a lot of different forms, and it’s sneaky. It can sound like a positive voice—“Oh, you should definitely work on this right now, be productive in this way”—so you think it’s not resistance at all; it’s helping you work. But it’s just another way of talking you out of working on something else.

For me, after the read-through, I felt a strong wave of doubt about this project. Not that it was so bad I could never publish it, but a lot of doubt about whether or not it was right for trying to publish now. And with my parents’ straight talk, I realized that it was just more resistance and fear making me procrastinate the inevitable—having to show someone my work.

I still have a lot of editing to do before it’s ready to go, but moving into this stage makes it real. Because I was finally able to seize onto that perfect “first draft” mentality of anything-goes, make-it-crappy, no-one-will-ever-see-this, carefree attitude, the first draft could be just a throwaway project if it had to be. Now that I’m heading into revision, I’m actively trying to make it something that someone will see, and judge, and if I’m very, very lucky, pay me for. Yet that payment (at every level of the “audience,” from editor to random reader in the bookstore) comes after a great deal of judgment.

Which is just the way art works, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary. And actively going after it? Most of me wants it more than anything… the rest wants to hide under a rock. Ideally, a money rock that will just grow money forever. Alas, no such thing exists.

And I do want to share my work—I really didn’t write it just for money. I wrote it because I loved the idea, and the characters, and I want to share them. Revision is a necessary part of that sharing, and I think I’ll even enjoy most of it.

If I can get myself to actually start.

My plan right now is to go scene by scene. The fundamental structure is pretty sound, at least right now, but the first episode definitely feels very rushed and I’m sure there are other scenes that aren’t paced well. Since I’ve never really revised before, I’m just kind of going to make it up as I go along.

And you’ll get to hear all about it. :)

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About J. Sevick

Just write.
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