Friday, December 16, 2011

Déjà Vu Blogfest

Today I am participating in the Déjà Vu Blogfest hosted by Lydia Kang, DL Hammons, Creepy Query Girl, and Nicole Ducleroir! We are posting a favorite blog post from the past. I can hardly wait to blog hop - to read some for the first time that I missed out on and to rediscover some from favorite bloggers!


A lot of writers don't like the rewrite process. It's not as creative as that first draft when everything is flowing, including great little nuggets that seem cool at the time but no sense with the story (how many times have you said to yourself, "I'll come back to that later"??).

You stare down at that HUGE manuscript that seems to have multiplied in pages now that you have to edit the thing and think "now WHAT?"

You do what you do best - avoid. You clean the house. You run every errand you can think of, including ones that have been on the list for two years. Suddenly, that closet in the guest room that you haven't organized in three years seems to bug you so much that you must do it NOW. You go have lunch with the friends you've been putting off for the last few months as you finish your book. You take the dog on all those fun adventures you've been wanting to do but didn't have time.

Then, that feeling sets in - you haven't written in a week or two or five. You start to get antsy. Your chest is tight. You need to create. Briefly, you're tempted to chase that shiny new idea. But you don't. You force yourself to sit down with your colored post-its and your favorite pen. You sit. And you sit. And you sit. And then the phone rings so you have an excuse to get up.

I forgot to bring a book to school last week when I was teaching. Best. Thing. Ever. I had one scrap of paper - my schedule of classes. I flipped it over and did some sketching. Redesigning. I remembered why I love rewriting so much. It's every bit as creative as that first draft. I rolled up my sleeves and got muddy like a five year old in a puddle.

And it worked. Like, really worked. Everything flows now in the story. Scenes have been moved around, forward, deleted. There is nothing hitting that moment where it all comes together. Rewrite euphoria. The Writer's High.

I was going on less than five hours sleep and I could not wait to get home. I was actually irritated that I had to run a real errand on the way (Lily has to eat, you know). When I sat down to my computer, it felt like I had slept ten hours! My fingers flew across the keyboard. They've been flying ever since! Who needs sleep?

Now, the laundry has piled up again. Cupboards are bare. The dog is wondering what happened to all that fun hiking that she got to do with Mom the last few weeks. That five pounds I lost is finding it's way back to me. But I don't care. I'm on that writer's high!

What about you - have you had a dose of that Writer's High? That Rewrite Euphoria?


  1. I know sometimes the hardest part is just...starting. Then everything can flow after that. :)

  2. Rewriting is really hard for me. I have to do it in a very structured way or I get overwhelmed. I have more of that euphoria during the first draft.

    Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

  3. Ha! I enjoyed this post! I'm supposed to be rewriting right now, as a matter of complete fact, but I'm two Aleves into a headache and just enjoying reading other people's stuff! I'll be a follower--enjoying Deja Vu finds such as your blog!

  4. Ahhhh, that writer's high! It's why we write, no? For purely selfish reasons sometimes! Nothing is like that euphoria of constructing that perfect sentence, that perfect scene, that perfect dialogue exchange. (Well, I'm sure we could recreate that high through drugs of the illicit variety, but we won't go there.)

    Great post, Jennie. I do enjoy rewrites. All the panic is gone, my story is there, and I get to play around with the words until they're exactly right. So much fun.

  5. Glad you were re-inspired! I actually enjoy the revisions even more than the first draft. I think better when it's all down on paper.

  6. I'm an outliner, so thankfully my re-writing is kept to a minimum. But I don't avoid it when I have to do it. I'm okay with anything that improves my book.

    Thank you for re-sharing this with us today! :)

  7. Ah, yes, I live for those moments! Wonderful post!

  8. I need a big jolt of rewrite euphoria. I've got several things sitting around that need rewritten.

    Journaling Woman at my memoir blog
    starting Saturday 12/17/2011
    Wrote By Rote

  9. I love writer's high!!! :) And, yes, I've been in the middle of a major revision session, and the only thing I want to do is work on it!!!

    But, for some reason, the kids want food and clean underwear ... whatsup with that?

  10. oh YES! And I'm hoping to get a good dose of it this week as well. What a great post. I like you have learned the bliss of the revision phase. Once you have a clear idea of how you want it to go, of course. :o) Merry Christmas, Jeannie! <3

  11. Rewrite Euphoria -- I like the sound of that!

    I love starting something new, nailing a big scene, and getting near the end of a manuscript. Rewrites are okay. I like it better when I'm done with them!