I am currently in the first read-through / revision / identity crisis of my novel. This means I won't have a lot of time to blog, since I have to find much nobler reasons for procrastinating the aforementioned revision. As has been observed many times on this site, I am a champion procrastinator. But it takes training and dedication to procrastinate at my level, so don't feel bad if you actually accomplish what you're supposed to accomplish every day. Someday I'll teach an advanced procrastination course, but I can't until I've...um...cleaned out my refrigerator.
Here's what my read-through / revision / identity crisis process is like, for those of you who are aspiring writers. Read and learn. Or procrastinate. There's always that option.
- Have all 412 pages of your novel printed off at Kinkos. Make sure they 3-hole punch everything, because you're going to put it in a 4-inch binder.
- Go home.
- Watch "Modern Family," "New Girl," and "Raising Hope," while recovering from your exhausting trip to Kinkos.
- Open your binder.
- Decide you simply must have little sticky notes to mark the places where you'll need a lot of revising.
- Close the binder.
- Watch "Unforgettable," "The Voice," and "Smash" while waiting for the Sticky Note Elves to magically drop a load on top of your binder.
- Heave a gigantic sigh. There's no such thing as Sticky Note Elves. You googled it on your phone during the boring parts of "Smash."
- Geeeett iiinnn yoooouuuurrr caaaarrr. Geez this is taking forever.
- Drive to the grocery store three minutes from your house.
- Buy sticky notes, four 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke, chips and ranch dip, some red pens (damn, you have to go back to the sticky note aisle), shampoo for in case you ever decide to try basic hygiene again, a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs because who knows? they may suddenly stop selling them and then where would you be?, a block of cheese just to be random, and another jumbo bottle of Tums.
- Drive home.
- Pour yourself a giant glass of Diet Coke and bust open the chips and ranch dip.
- Notice that your hands are now greasy.
- Watch "Bones" (gosh dangit, it's a rerun), "Parks and Rec," and six episodes of "Portlandia" until the chips are gone.
- Put the junk food away.
- Wipe your hands.
- Return to your binder and all of your beautiful office supplies.
- Open your binder.
- Read one page.
- Use an entire pad of sticky notes on that one page.
- Text your writing partners and whine that you're a hack and that first thing tomorrow morning you're going to apply to be a night-shift shelf-stocker at WalMart so that you'll finally contribute something meaningful to society.
- Eat nine peanut butter eggs while waiting for them to text you back.
- Read their texts of assurance (they're getting tired of this, by the way. You can tell because their texts all say, "you can write stop sniveling go You go DeNae go Team write write write.")
- Surprisingly, this works.
- Turn to page two.
- And start revising.
After all, you've got 411 pages left to go! Hey, wait. Did you remember to buy pizza rolls?
Close your binder ... get in the car ...