I wish I had some major words of wisdom that I was able to pick up while I was on hiatus, but the truth is, I'm still the same person, struggling to learn more about myself, my writing and the industry.
I did, however, learn what works the best for me while revising that I'd love to share with you just in case you didn't already know.
DEANA'S REVISING RULES
1) Don't move to a different state two times in a year while under a revising deadline. Ever. I'm not kidding.
2) A- Learn to say no. You're a writer so it's okay to turn off the phone and sit on your butt to write. You're not being lazy. You're working.
B- Don't listen to others when they tell you that writing isn't a job. It's simple. If you're serious about it, it is! If you listen to the naysayers and in so doing disobey rule 2A out of self-inflicted guilt, it won't be.
3) Don't be scared of the delete button. If you're afraid of writing crap, don't save it. Later, if you find it really is as horrible as you thought it might be, use the undo button. That button became my best friend.
4) If you're doing a major scene change it's okay to just get the idea out. Just pound that sucker out on the keyboard. You can always go back and polish it later...like you did after your first draft.
5) If you're not super pumped to revise because you aren't sure the direction you want to go, just start. Those writing juices will kick in and before you know it, you won't want to stop.
6) If you find you're stuck on a paragraph for 4 hours....MOVE ON. You can always go back.
7) Don't crawl into a writing cave for so long that you're scared to come back into the light. Taking time away from social media while revising can be cathartic on many levels. But too long and you miss out on loads of wisdom (not to mention, cheering your writing buddies on in their successes). The writing world is always changing and ever evolving. When you finally decide to come back into the light, you may have to sprint to catch up, and I don't know about you, but I hate running.
Aside from my #1 are you sensing a theme here?
DON'T BE AFRAID. KEEP ON TRUCKIN'.
If you're revising, it's for a reason. You're manuscript needs tweaking. Meaning it's not perfect in the state it's in and you are allowed to change things up a bit. Don't be afraid, but always save the original version just in case you're so hopped up on caffeine one night while revising until 4 AM that you end up with pure gibberish. Yes that did happen to me more than once.
That's it folks. Wonderful wisdom imparted...of which I'm sure many of you already know and may have experienced yourself. So tell me about it. What have you had to learn the hard way about revising?