Re-Vision Not Redraft

Lowry’s Books and More in Three Rivers Michigan is my favorite bookstore in the entire world. This is not because it is in my hometown, though that was convenient growing up, but because you can get lost in it. Imagine the wand shop in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets but with endless scores of books.Bookshelf 2

While there last weekend, I picked up a book by Isaac and Janet Asimov – How to Enjoy Writing: A Book of Aid and Comfort. The cover is atrociously outdated but the content rich and filling.

One porting discusses the thrill of the revision process. Isaac explained that while writing a letter on his word processor the word ‘revision’ (alteration, correction) was hyphened to the next line and became re-vision meaning, to see anew.

This part of the book has been cemented in my mind while I consider revising one of novels. Not simply to redraft and revise which sounds arduous and monotonous but to see it anew. I write for the thrill of the thing not to bore myself out of my mind.

I plan to use this approach on my next draft. Ask what ifs of each scene and each chapter. Take a different road for a bit and see where that takes my characters.

This stirs excitement. I suppose writing is all how you look at it, just like anything in life. On my next draft, I am going to look at my book anew and have fun playing with it and, in other words, take joy in the process.

How about you? How do you see your books anew during your editing process?



Become An Everydayer

I love hockey. Not just watching it on TV, but reading about it on obscure blogs, watching Youtube clips in the offseason, listening to sports talk radio, and rehashing stories with friends at work. It’s a passion and I’m an evangelist.

I don’t love it for the fighting, but the grit. When a player battles through a second degree separated shoulder, a broken foot, and a broken finger simultaneously, all for the logo on their sweater and the city they represent, I wonder, how do they do that? Of course they are paid millions of dollars for this, but wouldn’t you throw in the towel at that point? They’ll make their money whether they play or not.

This grit can be explained in a million ways but for those unfamiliar with this glorious game, one of the best and grammatically incorrect is “An Everydayer”. This is a term I hear all the time from the coach of the Detroit Red Wings, Mike Babcock.

What does it mean? That you show up every day and work hard. Whether you’re a professional banker or a professional toilet cleaner, you work hard in everything you do. Period. It’s a cemented mindset that does not change, but this is not from hard headedness, it’s fueled by passion.

I am a firm believer that everything in your life builds upon everything else. If you display patience at home with a troubled teen, chances are that will strengthen your patience for a work situation. If you work hard at work, you’ll have a better chance at working hard as a parent and so forth.

If you are stuck today in anything – your novel, your job, your website – know that those who succeed show up everyday.

They are Everydayers.

What are you?



Blog Battles Book

If you’re a writer and a blogger, this post is for you. If you’re a person and burned out all the time, keep reading too.

Last week, I wrote a blog post Monday through Thursday. Nothing to set the world on fire, but this was and was not a good thing.

The good thing? I was writing.

The not so good thing? I was not writing what I wanted to write – novels.

If you’ve been to a writers conference or talked to a publishing professional before you’ve heard that four letter word ‘platform’. Okay, not a four letter word but it should be. You may have had a conversation that went like this:

Professional – You must have a platform to be a successful writer.

You – Won’t that take all of my writing time? What about the book?

Professional – You need to do both.

You – Uh, I don’t have time.

Professional – Find time.

Not super practical, but true. Of course this is not easy. Half the time I walk around feeling like I am failing at two things simultaneously. You’ve got a family, and a job, and a life, right?

The imperative element to this is balance.

I felt better when I was able to write another chapter of my book. I dropped the post on Friday because I wanted to work on my book. I was burned out on my blog.

The best advice I can give to the blogging writer is to do what you can do. Do one blog post a week or do them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Find a rhythm and do what works.

But keep writing your book.