Beating the second draft slump

It was all so simple last year. Whenever I had time to spare I would whip out the laptop and write a bit more of my novel. I was able to use my writing slots so productively. It was just like mowing the lawn, keep going until you get to the end.

Now I’m out the other side of that process and can see what a rush I was in to get to the finish line. The words that I flung onto the page now have to stand up to scrutiny and carry the story.

These days when I sit down to revise the manuscript, more often than not I stray into other writing tasks. Revising is not a straightforward process. The grass is cut but now I have to finish the garden. I need to pull up bushes that are not thriving, plant new trees, create flower beds, trim the hedge, put in a patio and weed, weed, weed.

Where to start? It’s so much easier to procrastinate. In my case this involves dabbling a little in flash fiction, teasing out new book ideas or bashing out a post for this blog. Could I really be writing about writing as a way to avoid actually writing?

All is not lost. I have my writing course coming up in the Irish Writers’ Centre and in the meantime I will read up on revising so that I can tackle this job with the right tools.

If you have any good revising tips that have worked for you, please share!

4 thoughts on “Beating the second draft slump

  1. Oh God, if only I could share something useful! I empathise entirely and my weeds are running amok. I know exactly where they are but just can’t bear to look at them.

    1. Unfortunately no quick-fix spray for this! We’ve got to get the little grey cells back on duty. I’ve been reading the book aloud to my husband and that helped highlight the more clunky bits but it’s the bigger structural problems that are blocking me at the moment.

    2. p.s. I’ve just nominated Safia’s blog for the Irish Blog Awards, best blog of the diaspora. Check it out!

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