View Full Version : Home stretch... need motivation

12-30-2008, 10:33 PM
So, here's my problem. I had a very exhausting query process. I realize that at around 3 months, it was much shorter than most, and I know that I am very lucky, but I still found it to be quite draining. So after I signed the contract, I lost all motivation in that book, and focused my energy on a new project, which is still in its early stages.

Now, my agent is starting to get the manuscript ready for submission to editors. She did a very extensive line edit, and requested some final revisions, mostly in regard to dialog and enhancement of certain characters. Nothing major like writing new chapters, but it requires that I do a very thorough run through the entire manuscript. And my problem is that I am finding it extremely difficult to get back into this book.

She said that she wants to submit it at the end of January or the middle of February, and I am really excited about this, but I still can't get myself to do the revisions. Every time I open the document and start looking at it, I immediately get distracted and go off to do something else.

Are there any seasoned writers out there who can offer some advice, some tricks, or anything really to help me get through this part! (And I know, once an editor has it, there will be many more revisions, but I suspect that I will be much more motivated at that point).

Thanks so much for any input!

12-30-2008, 10:43 PM
I am definitely not an experienced writer, per se, but I'll do my best :)

I think that you've already tried so hard to get this far, you have to remind yourself that if you do these revisions people will read your book! People--strangers out there will appreciate your work.

You want to do the best you can to get that far and to make the biggest impression.

Of course it's hard to look back on something you almost gave up on, but if you see it as an actual performance with an audience and everything, don't you think you'd want to make your work the best possible? ...to make the best impression? In the end, it'll be extremely rewarding and there are many authors out there who envy you for getting so far.

Chin up and good luck! :)

12-30-2008, 10:45 PM
I had the same feeling but in my case it was during the editing process with the publisher. Luckily we had agreed on the cover design (in draft form) so I only had to look at that to see the final book and that spurred me on. Can you make a mock-up of the final work and keep going in order to make it actually happen?

12-30-2008, 10:45 PM
I also want to point out that before I signed with my current agent, she had me do three rounds of EXTENSIVE revisions. So after I put my signature on that contract, I lost all motivation to have anything else to do with that book.

12-30-2008, 10:50 PM
Sounds like burn out to me. I can't fathom your feelings on it, this close to the brass ring.

12-30-2008, 11:04 PM

This sucks! I wish there was something you could do!

Are you actually comtemplating giving up on the whole thing?

12-30-2008, 11:21 PM
Much as this sucks to hear...

Sit down and do it. You're a professional author now and this is part of the job. Might as well get used to it.

Just start on page one, read through and make the changes. I like to make the easy ones first and mark the ones that take more thought for later. That way, I feel a little progress every time I go through it. Break it up into days if you have the time. Take a little break between runs.

And remember, the more work you do now, the less work you will likely do later. And the more editors will be interested in the project. Getting an agent is a great and rewarding step, but the editor is the brass ring. Keep you eye on that end goal.

Good luck!

12-30-2008, 11:31 PM
I agree with Danthia.

I totally understand that almost lazy/unmotivated/procrastinating feeling that builds up.. but you just have to sit down and do it.

Unless you're beginning to re-think this writing career...

12-30-2008, 11:54 PM
And if you think this is bad, wait until your editor has edits for you, and then copyedits, and then galleys...

12-31-2008, 12:28 AM
Thanks Danthia. I know that it'll get done. I just want to get geared up and moving. I would love to have it done before the end of January. I just need to concentrate, and see this as a job and not a hobby.

12-31-2008, 12:58 AM
I'm with Danthia. It's a job, as you said so yourself. It isn't all going to be fun and games, in fact there are times when it is totally miserable. But look at it like this as well. You aren't the only one involved anymore. Your agent has put herself out there for you. Has signed you on, has put in a lot of work (editing a work for someone else is just as much work as doing the editing), and her reputation on the line for you. Not only that but she has a schedule of her own, you loving to have this done by January isn't enough for her. You aren't her only client, she has mountains of work to do, and she needs to be able to rely on you to hold up your end. This isn't about you anymore. And it's only going to get harder. Soon you'll have an editor, a publishing house, a marketing team, a cover artist, booksellers, librarians etc all of them depending on you to do your job.

Time to suck it up.

12-31-2008, 01:04 AM
Thanks Toothpaste. You are so right. And I am just thinking back to my query days, when I only wished to be in this position. So I should just count my blessings and keep moving along. As much as this part is not fun, it sure beats the query process!

12-31-2008, 01:07 AM
I'll give you some tough love because I hope it helps. JUST DO IT!
Nora Roberts has been known to scoff at writer's block by claiming it shouldn't matter and giving advice along the lines of "get your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard."
I understand the burn out, but are you in charge, or are you going to let this ruin your chance?

01-06-2009, 08:56 PM
Not as seasoned as some of those who've replied, but here's what worked for me when I had to do yet another round of revisions and I wanted to do ANYTHING (clean the toilet! pedicure the cat!) rather than read my manuscript again: I broke it into small tasks. Every day, I had to either get through a certain number of pages, or cross off a certain number of requested revisions. Whether I sat at my computer for three hours, staring at the wall, or got to it and finished quickly -- it was all up to me.

After a few days of prolonging the agony by mentally wandering during revision time, I managed to get back into it.

Good luck to you! You're going to overcome this hurdle, because what you have waiting on the other side is just too good to pass up.

01-06-2009, 09:05 PM
Here's my totally dumb idea (although i agree with everything Danthi, Irys, Toothpaste and co have said)

Change the font?

Sounds weird, but sometimes when i get burn out I change the style and size of the font and it feels like I'm reading a new book.

01-06-2009, 09:38 PM
Revisions especially for agents and editors can be brutal. Like the rest have said JUST DO IT. Chapter by chapter. Break it up into smaller bits.
Keep in mind it's a tough environment now in publishing and a manuscript has to be spot on to be bought. And it doesn't get easier - it gets HARDER...
You will have more rounds of this when your manuscript gets sold. IT NEVER ENDS.

David Erlewine
01-06-2009, 10:22 PM
Picture people like me who would maim someone to be in your shoes.

Get writing my friend.

01-14-2009, 11:46 PM
I am making a ton of progress. Just wanted to thank everyone who responded to me for the tough love and motivation. It really worked. You guys are amazing.