Fear of Revision

Published at: 49 Writers

I was intrigued with Deb Vanasse’s recent post, The Writer’s Dilemma and her suggestion to “…keep a diary of your writing activities: creation, revision, reflection, immersion, community, money stuff. Then tally up the time spent in each area, and compare it against how you’d like to be spending your writing time.”

I took Deb’s advice and began a writers’ diary. I was curious how I was dividing my writing time. I didn’t have to do it for two weeks. Right away I saw that I wasn’t spending my time the way I wanted, on the writing process—first draft to completion. As a creative writing neophyte, I stumbled over myself in the seduction to be published. I was spending too much time online, researching writing sites, and looking for places to submit my work.

After the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, I morphed into a frenzied writing maniac. I cranked out short stories and blog posts, like my plane was going down. Consequently, I was caught up in the post-conference inspirational mode, without taking the requisite time to quadruple-check my work before hitting the ‘Submit’ button.  I was free-writing my blog, without much revision. I developed bad habits; not revising or proofreading as I should, before posting online and submitting stories for publication.

I learned my lesson, when The Anchorage Press accepted a lengthy fire story I submitted earlier this month. I was horrified to find glaring errors after submitting my story. This was my first paying gig as a writer, so naturally, I freaked out. I typed so fast, my keyboard smoked and screamed in protest, as I dashed off my embarrassing email correction to The Press editor. I didn’t take enough time to fact-check, or proofread the piece one more time before submitting.

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Written by Lois Paige Simenson

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