Why Revisions Continue to Elude Me

When I began seriously writing (aka not scribbling out a novel and immediately trashing it), I knew what was next; revisions. I think there’s a quote out there that says, “writing is rewriting” and I agree with that 1000%. 

I wanted to be a Good Writer. I wanted to print out the hard copy of my MS, crack open a box of highlighters, assemble stacks of index cards and tab stickies, and get to work. But I couldn’t. I was not wired to be that systematic, meticulous reviser with a perfectly organized system. 
Oh, how I wished to be one. How I wished to read through my manuscripts with a perfect eye for mistakes. How I wished for those structured, rigid rubrics like the ones they gave out in English class. I didn’t want to be the one who stared at my writing and numbed my fears with ice cream. 
I love books about the writing craft. I take those in and savor every gold nugget of wisdom. They make it seem so straightforward. Compelling characters, with secret desires and fears. Pacing that’s tight like a fishing line. A plot with a proper structure. And fearless, breathless prose. 
It’s never that easy for me. 
I can scribble notes and fill up worksheets and write out all analysis. I can pretend to be a therapist, a master planner–and be someone who actually *knows* what she’s doing. It’s not enough for me to take in concepts, to follow a system. 
For me, I have to feel. I’m really, really not trying to sound abstract here. But it’s true–I have to reach a point of wordless understanding before I can revise a single work on the page. I might have a half-paged outline for a book, but before I draft, I have to play things out in my head. My way of revising is feeling things intuitively–which is a blessing and a curse. 
I think I’ve written a post about this before. I’ve come to terms with accepting my own process of writing–but on days like these, it’s hard. It’s hard to stare at a blank document and not be able to think of a *single* way to write the plot down on paper. Plotter’s block, we’ll call it. 
In the end, I want to tell the best story I can. But some days, it’s pretty hard to think of getting there. 

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