Why is it that good habits are so much easier to break than bad ones?
Let me lay it out for you.
My pattern is this:1.) Get into a good writing habit. 2.) Stop to revise. 3.) Really, really stop to revise. Farewell, new words. 4.) Fail to make revision a measurable part of my routine. 5.) Try to figure out what happened to the good habit just broke into a million pieces.
Get into a good writing habit. I’m actually pretty good at that. When I’m working on those first-draft word counts, I’ll hit a thousand words or more a day. That’s a lot. In the course of a year, it can add up to more than a quarter of a million words.
Stop to revise. Well… that seems pretty necessary. Especially for someone who’s been known to cram twenty-seven murder scenes or five versions of the same proposal into one book.
Really, really stop to revise. This is where things start going wrong. The word count drops off, and I don’t really land in the next project with any kind of wits about me.
And then… well, just exactly how do you measure revision goals? What do you do to make sure you do enough? And how do you keep track? Pretty soon, I’m not writing new words, and I’m not revising, either. I don’t switch back and forth all that well.
And that’s it. Progress is slow–or maybe just not noticeable enough–and I feel like I’m not getting anywhere.
Right now, I’m in the revision stage. I would like to finish my novel. Finish-finish. High-shine polish finished. Elegance and refinement finished.
I keep looking for that perfect balance.
Maybe the short stories I’ve promised to write are it. Something I can finish in an afternoon when I’m not revising.
Maybe short stories will be just enough to prime the pump.
Suggestions and advice welcome.