ROW80: But it’s Hard!

I’ve noticed something with my high-school-age daughter, that she’s done for a long time. When she has a tough assignment, whether it’s homework, or a big chore (like clean up her room), she tends to goof off even more. The homework doesn’t get done, and the room never gets cleaned. She’s a super-smart kid. Homework usually comes easily to her. Keeping her room clean should be easy, but instead of picking up and putting away as she goes, she lets stuff pile up until it becomes overwhelming.

And by that point, she doesn’t want to do it. Because it’s hard!

Revisions continue to go slowly. In trying to figure out why, it’s pretty obvious: I keep running up against big plot holes that don’t have an obvious solution, and instead of just doing something about it, I go do something else, like play computer games.

Because it’s hard!

I do the same thing with a sticky revision as my daughter does with homework or a chore that’s not easy.

So that’s my reason, not excuse, for not meeting my ROW80 goals for Yet. Another. Week. I realize I probably have to just power through this stuff and I tried a couple times this week, but the powering-through doesn’t happen quickly. My muses take their good ol’ time handing me solutions to this type of problem and in the meantime, I go play another round of My Farm Life. Sigh. Or this week, I go work on a website I volunteered to do for a promo group I’m in. Either way, the revisions are not coming along as quickly as I’d like.

Sometimes I ask myself Twenty Questions, or rather, Twenty Answers, to the question, “what could happen here?” I get all the mundane, overused, and just plain stupid ones out of the way, and by the time I’ve come up with twenty things, I’ve usually come up with something good.

Other times, it’s just resistance to making a Big Change that’s going to take a lot of work. That’s where I’m at now, in Chapter 15. What’s funny is I checked my spam queue right before I started this post, and found my first, legitimate, not-spam comment in it, from a fellow Row80-er who was having this very problem! So it’s time to take her advice and just make the big change. It’s not even as big as the one she’s been dealing with.

As for my specific goals, I did get Chapter 13 and 14 revised, and there were plenty of those PITA issues in them as well.

For this week, I want to get 15-17 revised. Ideally, I’d also like to get the type-in done for the book so far, and get it out to the beta readers. I’m hosting Thanksgiving, so that’s a day I won’t get any writing done, but I’m blessed to have all my family nearby (which means no overnight houseguests or travel), and my husband also helps. I also have Wednesday and Friday off work, so that should make up for it.

Do you have any suggestions on tackling a Big, PITA Change? Or for figuring out a show-stopper plot hole? How did you do on your goals this week?

7 Responses to \

  1. I can completely relate to the overwhelm issue and I love how you come up with 20 responses to “What happened…” very constructive… I have used a similar device but never in exactly this way. I teach it to my students to get over the redunant, mundane, knee jerk responses to “What happened.”

    I am grateful you posted on my ROW80 Blog check in! I appreciate it!

    Sending you Word-Love for an awesome week!

  2. I already know I’ll be facing this when I get to revisions of this story I’m working for NaNo. Despite all my prep work, this is coming in chunks and not pretty ones either. So dreading revisions.

    I do like your 20 answers idea and I’ll definitely check out Jennifer’s post.

    Best of luck for the upcoming week!

  3. I found this very funny. I’m reading your post, and I’m thinking “I just posted about this!” I keep reading, and you say someone else just posted about this problem, so I click to see what they said, and low and behold IT’S ME.

    I’m glad I could help you out. Once you dive in and just “do it” you will be glad you did. Yes, it’s hard, but once you actually get started, you will find yourself back in the “joy of writing” again.

    Good luck!

  4. My best friend in college used to say, “I have SO much to do, I want to take a nap!” Just the very thought of dealing with a mound of tough stuff makes us want to take cover and hide. That is EXACTLY how I’m feeling about revisions to my mystery novel – which I thought was complete. When I got back into it, I realized I could strengthen it so much more. But did I want to spend hours and hours AGAIN on this novel? I’ve decided yes. So I’m plowing through and making changes, yet again.

    Why do we do these things? I would suggest that it’s because you don’t merely want to be a writer, Jennette, but a great writer. That’s commendable! Good for you. You’ll figure it out and push through. Best wishes!

  5. LOL Jennifer! I saw so much of my own week in your post, I had to link! Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

    Julie – hide and take cover is right! But if we love our stories and really want to make them the best books we possibly can, we’ll do the hard work. Eventually. πŸ™‚

  6. good post and the link also – I know I have laid the same problem out with Nano – the editing will have me screaming for one way ticket to anywhere!!! it’s the enourmity of the massive change from our original creation I think – but well done those who are doing will do it

    keep smiling and all the best for coming week