Free-For-All Friday

(What is this? My very own meme, which could take the form of other Friday memes out there — random five or ‘fessing up — or non-Friday memes, or anything! Point being to have a little fun and get a little interactive. Feel free to snitch my logo at left and do your Friday thing!)


Today I’m ‘fessing up for my Friday. It’s about time I held myself accountable for flailing around with this revision. I’m taking far too long. This is ridiculous.

So, I hereby set my new goal in writing — hopefully publicizing it on this blog will keep me honest — along with the prize I’ll win for reaching this goal. Because prizes are good, and prizes help enforce arbitrary deadlines, right? Right (again hopefully).

Which brings up a question: Do you give yourself writing prizes? If so, what? I need ideas!

The goal: I have 12, count them, 12, chapters left to revise. So, I hereby promise to revise one chapter a day, including weekends, until I am done.

This doesn’t sound like an onerous goal, but one chapter each day can be tough. Some of the chapters are in horrible shape.

The prize: Thirteen or 14 days from now I’m going to the coast to a fancier lodge than usual for me — one that allows dogs, by the way. This lodge is offering a three-nights-for-the-price-of-two deal, which helps.

How’s that for a prize?

Admittedly, I’ll still be working. I’ll bring the printed copy of the manuscript with me and read through it for fine-tunes. Fun!

How much of a writing-geek am I that I’ll have loads, I mean, TONS, of fun reading through a manuscript at a fancy lodge on the beach with my dog as companion? Gotta love it. I’ll use any excuse for a writing retreat.

Have a great weekend. I’ll be working, but enthusiastically. In fact, the enthusiasm starts now with chapter 36 (woo-hoo).

Sidenote question: We writers need a patron saint of revisions. Who’s a good candidate for this position?

9 comments on “Free-For-All Friday

  • Revision is my downfall…I just don’t know where to start, so I have bunches of things finished but needing clean up.

    When you find a patron saint, send him/her my way!

  • “Who’s a good candidate for this position?”

    Dante. For his Divine Comedy in Three Parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

  • A chapter a day? Wow.

    Revision is my favorite part of writing — okay, second favorite, after the exciting and rare moments when the words come pouring out faster than you can type them and you feel awesomely alive. Most of my time spent writing a first draft, as I’m doing now, is slogging through it… so painful. But revising, when I get to rewrite and sharpen up and cut and smooth, I love that. I cannot wait to revise! Ugh. Why can’t I just finish the first draft already so I can get to that?

    Then again, I could probably revise my writing forever. Someone needs to stop me!

    As for a prize for reaching your deadline, when you asked what I thought the prize could be my immediate thought was a relaxing retreat. And that’s exactly what you’re doing! We’re so on the same page.

    Good luck! You can do it!

  • I love this Friday meme you made up (I STILL haven’t finished imitating the one you did last week … what the heck am I getting done?) Anyway, writing prizes? Yes, I do them all the time at work. (I should do them in terms of my own writing.) But the prizes: An escape to read favorite blogs, inclusive, of course!; Wandering around with my camera taking pictures that are dumb or odd but posting them on my blog anyway; Browsing a really good office supply store and buying a notebook or some kind of paper; watching an episode of BOSTON LEGAL which I have on DVD; and, making cinnamon toast! Yup, those are my “writing prizes.”

    As for the patron saint of revisions, I’d vote for: Balzac (he never revised anything cuz he didn’t have time since he was handing over his pages to his publisher immediately to pay debts); or, Annie Dillard who seems to have a really crisp style which either comes naturally OR she works and works at it to pare it down.
    THis is a great question, actually. Worthy of several entries.
    ENjoy that retreat for all of us. Having a different setting will make working on your chapters so different, will put them in a whole new wonderful light. Cheers!

  • Revisions–ick! Prizes–yay! My prize today for getting some work done on the neverending revisions of my latest manuscript is to do a little catch-up reading of the blogs I normally frequent. So glad I chose yours first!

    Have I told you lately how much I love…your blog? Probably not, but I do! Entertaining, interesting, funny and lots of good ideas for writers! I’m jealous of your new Friday meme and find myself asking, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”

    BTW, if you ever find out who the patron saint of revisions is, send him my way. I could use a little–okay, a lot of–help right now!


  • Yeah, you’re going to the beach! I still want to go with you, though I probably won’t be able to block out time until the new year. But it’s a great prize and I use it on myself as often as possible. Have a wonderful time and good luck with the revisions!

  • I’m with Nova. I LOVE revision–and being in a lodge revising a novel with a dog at your side sounds like heaven to me! It actually made me feel a moment of great wistfulness, just reading that! But that’s because I’m now in Book Promotion Mode…which makes one long for Writing Mode or Revising Mode, or even Sleeping With the Blankets Over Your Head Mode. Have fun with your revisions!

  • Whoa, thanks for the comments everyone!

    Becca, I used to find revision difficult, but I think the longer we write, the better able we are to view our work objectively and to “know where to start” as you mention. It’s all practice — which is good news!

    BigD! Dante’s a good choice, especially as the creative process cycles us through the inferno often enough!

    Thanks, Nova! This wasn’t a stellar weekend for work — I’m already behind on my goal! But I’ll catch up…??

    oh, I like your list of writing prizes, especially cinnamon toast! Great ideas for the saint of revisions…I thought of Hemingway also…Didn’t he revise and revise and revise to pare down his language?

    Thanks for saying that Caitlyn. I know I always learn something new when I visit your blog. By the way, feel free to use this meme — aren’t memes supposed to be free for all (not to pun on my meme title, but…)

    Actually, tracer, I thought of you when I wrote this post, hoping you didn’t think I’d forgotten about our proposed coastal retreat. I’m up for it come dreary Jan. or Feb.!

    Hi Sandi, thanks for dropping in! And I feel wistful right back at you: Oh, for the chance to be in Book Promotion Mode (even though most novelists I know don’t much like it)!


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