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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chronic Rewriting Disease — IWSG (20)

They say the first step is to admit you have a problem. I'm ready to do just that . . . in a few seconds. *Deep breath*

I suffer from CRD: Chronic Rewriting Disease.

At this point denial is futile. No matter how many manuscripts I work on, experience does nothing for my confidence. It's never less deletions and rewrites, and it's never just revisions. It's a whole "40% of this needs to be rewritten" deal . . . each round. Each frigging round. And let me tell you: there are a lot of rounds.

Usually in the beginning, I enjoy rewriting because I know I'm polishing whatever mumble jumble I jotted down while writing away with no worries. But after the fifth time, it's hard not to get a little down. I start thinking I suck and feel like I just have no right calling myself a writer. Sure, each time I start a new story I tell myself "I know better now" . . . but I don't.

Rewriting can take its toll on me emotionally and mentally. I've had some stressful moments, and have questioned myself a lot, but now I know it's okay. I've learned that I'm simply not capable of getting my story right the first time. And that's not necessarily negative. Now that I've made peace with the fact that I'm more a rewriter than a writer, I can forge ahead. 

I know my process and I accept it.

Hard work, passion, and dedication along with a few panic attacks and sweaty moments will get me to my final product. Which I suppose isn't all that different from any other writer. My strength isn't in getting a killer story done in one shot, but in polishing and rewriting until I do. So . . . hi, my name is S.K. and I'm a rewriter.

How do you deal with writing and revisions? 
Just a couple rounds?
Or are you a fellow sufferer of Chronic Rewriting Disease?



This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

*reblogged

22 comments:

  1. This is absolutely key - "I know my process and I accept it." Keep going! :)

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  2. Sometimes I feel like the rewriting & revising will never end! At least you know what works for you. It can just make things harder when you try and fight your own process.

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  3. I usually do 4 rounds of editing myself before I send it to betas. After that, the real revisions start when they give me feedback. I've had to do two major rewrites/revisions with my current WIP. The last one hurt. A lot. But I feel it's a better story. Or I hope it it. Do what you feel you have to do. We all have our own process.

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  4. I can totally relate. I keep rewriting but know I just need to stop. But I can't. Maybe I need help or a 21 step program.

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  5. Madeline stole what I was going to say so I will just second her comment! :D
    Good to see you, SK.

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  6. oh I am right there with you...in fact I'm currently stalling sending my beginning chapters to CPs b/c I can't stop rewriting!! It's a disease lol. At some point I just have to suck it up and go for it, b/c I know I'll do at least three more major rewrites with my agent and then hopefully editor! ugghh this biz lol

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  7. Like you, I too suffer from CRD: Chronic Rewriting Disease. I am trying my best to curb this bad habit of mine. If you manage to control your CRD, let me know how you do it.

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  8. I haven't compared the number of re-writes I do with others, but I might come in for a first prize for the greatest number if did. Maybe we should talk. :-)

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  9. LOL.... we are ALL REWRITERS! I have done so many rewrites on both my novels I have lost count. That is why I leave them for a month or more, the go back for "another round!" IT is a vicious but NECESSARY cycle.

    Admitting it and going with the flow is all any of can do....

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  10. You have to learn to forgive yourself. You're not going to get it right the first time. No one does. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're leaning about your story the first time you get it down. It's like introducing yourself to the characters and everything going on. And each revision you're just tightening stuff up. There is NOTHING wrong with rewriting. That's actually a good thing! You're just making it better. Each time you go back, you're making your art better. You should be proud of yourself for being so dogged in this pursuit. It illustrates how much you care about your craft and how willing you are to suffer for it (like questioning if you're even a writer at all.) Keep at it and know we're all doing the same thing. :)

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  11. I think we are all rewriters to a degree.
    I don't do a lot of rewrites, but only because I plan my stories to death first.

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  12. Any free writer will have "CRD". Outliners less so, but revisions are a must for all writers. So you are in good company.

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  13. I love that: "I'm more a rewriter than a writer..." There's nothing wrong with being a rewriter! Like I said on my blog today, everyone's journey is different—we just have to remember that and not be too hard on ourselves. :)

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  14. I'm a rewriter too. Can we have buttons? =D

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  15. I'm afraid that just thinking about the latest revision makes me want to re-revise, so I would have to fit into the chronic re-writer category too. But at what point do you have to tell yourself "enough!"?

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  16. Hi S.K. (droned in just like in AA meetings). I think rewriting is a natural part of the process. If you want the work to be good, it must be rewritten. A lot. And that can be frustrating, and yet the end piece is rewarding.

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  17. Sometimes I wonder if I rewrite enough...

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  18. I re-write until I'm done, but I usually have vision of what the final product will look/feel like and work toward it. I'm finicky, picky, and a pain in my own neck. The thing is if it manages to get out there I want to be proud of it and that means it has to be as perfect as I can make it. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  19. I think editing for errors multiple times is important but rewriting can be an endless cycle! Seems you'll always find something wrong with a book no matter how many times you re-read it.

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  20. Hi, we're B&B, and we're both rewriters. I could probably pick up any of my finished, fully edited, published novels now, go back, and find an excuse to edit something. My policy is to edit a few times until it feels right, then trust myself, put it down, and STOP before I ruin it.

    It's worked so far!

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  21. I definitely have CRD - although I love the first draft, I know that I'm going to hate it and rewrite it later . . .

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  22. I'm always rewriting. I don't think I've ever read through my stories without editing something. Each time around, though, gets less and less, which is a good thing. You are not alone. :)

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