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Revisioning Fridays: Re-visioning block? Seriously?

Revision Friday is here. Having struggled with revisions these last three months, it is not my most favorite topic in the world.

I revised nada in October and November: I had a “Revision-block”. Writer’s block is a common topic amongst us writers, but revision-block? Seriously?
Seriously. I DID have two months of not being able to revise ANY of my first drafts.
I had 3 short stories, reviewed and commented upon, ready to revise. I had a considerable time-gap between my first draft and the prospective second. I had time. I had the computer and notebooks, pens.
But the minute I opened the docs to be revised, I froze. I couldn’t bear to look at them. Almost deleted them.
In the meantime, I finished writing five First drafts of mid to longish short stories. I filled up two notebooks with writing practice. So, no writing block.
I tried to analyse the reasons behind the said revision block, and this is all I came up with:
1. The characters in some of my short story 1st drafts had possessed me, and wouldn’t let me go. I had to write their stories first before I could do anything else.
2. I was spending way too much time agonising about the re-writing I would have to do in two short-stories I had to revise. This was not editing, or pruning even, but writing the stories again from another point of view or in another tense.
I’m happy to report I’m out of my revision-block: I’ve revised four short stories from mid-December to mid-January, one of which I’ve submitted for an upcoming anthology, and the other is ready for submission for a contest.
I tried to analyse how I got over the block, and this is what I came up with:
1. Drop-dead deadlines help speed up the revision process in my case. The anthology submission had a deadline.
2. I realized that doing revisions is somewhat like cutting your own hair by yourself. You have to wield the scissors fast, or you’ll never do it. Worry about the fine-tuning later, just make the cuts already.
Does anyone else have revision-blocks? Or am I the only one?
Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Damyanti says:

    Summer, this was my first revision-block, so it had me scared.

    Anne, you're a prolific writer (and reviser!), so no worries, you'll be done by April!

    Liz, thanks for the tip, and welcome to my blog 🙂

    I will go and do blog-browsing this evening, once I have my crazy saturday pinned down and over with…sigh. Thanks for the comments, ladies, lovely to read them first thing in the morning before a REALLY long day.

  • Liz Fichera says:

    You are not alone on revision-blockage. I had the symptoms myself last Fall. I find doing what I hate most (e.g. revisions) in a happy place (e.g. my fave cafe) seems to help.

    Nice to meet you, by the way!

  • You're not the only one. I'm in the middle of revision block. I have gobs of notes from my critter and haven't even looked at any of them. Since before the holidays.

    I think you may have something on the drop-dead deadline. I find I'm more aggressive when I have a deadline, and this time I don't.

    And my self-imposed deadlines never work. Well, we'll see, I gave myself until April 1st to get everything I have to do done.

  • Summer Ross says:

    I like revising most of the time, but on some of my stories, i have revised a few things here and there, but havn't gotten down to the nitty gritty. Deadlines help me usually, and sometimes I'm way more interested in wriitng that revising will just have to come later. So yeah its happened a couple times.

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