May 24, 2006

Coming Back...and Looking Back

Getting away from it all really does give you new perspective sometimes. I took a copy of No More Rejections! by Alice Orr (available from Writer's Digest Book Club) with me on the plane, and reviewing some of the nuts and bolts of writing and editing from the perspective of a literary agent actually sparked some enthusiasm for going back to my beleaguered and once-again-rejected (just before vacation, by Margaret K. McElderry books) first novel and doing some major revisions.

Though a part of me hates the thought of undertaking such a daunting task, and I honestly don't know where to begin, another part of me is a little excited that maybe I can make what I think is a good novel into a great one. I had to let it go for a while, and let go of my over-attachment to it (what my ceramics teacher referred to as "precious pot syndrome," in reference to a student's first thrown piece of pottery that they don't want to let go of). Now, after about a year and a half (!), I think I have enough objectivity to tackle it again and make major changes. I think it took so long to get to this stage because I was working on the novel in dribs and drabs for two years or more, and couldn't see the forest for the trees by the end.

But now I'm ready to enter the trees again. I recommend, if you feel stuck on revisions, taking a look back at your beginning writing texts and other how-to-write books, and just letting yourself get inspired by the different aspects of craft and how they might apply to your own work. It might only happen subconsciously at first, but for me, that subconscious thought process made the all-important leap into the front of my brain. Go for it!

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