Back in 2009, I had just finished the revision of CAPTIVATE (sequel to NEED), and after I happy danced, I pretty much passed out.
The revision of that book was the hardest revision I ever had to do, basically because during that revision I had to work my brain really hard and I was still pretty new to writing novels.
DURING THAT REVISION:
1. I cut about 40,000 words in two-revision passes.
2. I added about 20,000 more words.
3. I lost all word retrieval skills.
4. I called everyone I saw BABY because that was the only word I could retrieve.
5. I lost one friend who didn’t like that I called him BABY and failed to call him back 8,0000 times.
6. I gained three more friends who were into the whole BABY thing.
7. I wondered why I was a writer 74 times (a day).
My whole life went on hold I made lists like this:
Tomorrow I will have to:
1. Call my father who thinks I don’t love him anymore and doesn’t understand that I can’t talk to him in the middle of work when he always talks for at least an hour and it totally ruins my ability to think.
2. Email my mother who is much more understanding.
3. Do push-ups.
4. Pass out again.
5. Reply to blog comments.
Yes, that’s how bad it was. I put ‘pass out’ on my list of things to do.
Revision can be tough especially when there’s a whole lot of pressure on you. To be the best writer and person you can be, you have to take care of yourself, not just your book.
So here are some tips on how to stay healthy while revising
Get Some Sleep
I know! I know! Writers are supposed to write until they are slumped over their desk and drooling on their keyboard, but this is not actually healthy!
Your brain becomes less efficient the more it needs sleep. So no all-nighters, writing friends.
Have Healthy Snacks, Not Sugary Ones.
Sugar makes you fluctuate between big highs and lows. Nobody wants that.
Stand Up A Lot
Sitting at the desk forever isn’t good for you. Stand up and work whenever you can or at least take breaks from the sitting.
This is right there with not sitting at your desk all the time, but I made it two separate points. If you take the time to work out before you do your actual writing work, it helps keep you focused and awake.
Dehydrated writers are writers who faint. Fainting is romantic in books, but in real life it leads to concussions. Concussions lead to missed deadlines. Nobody wants that.
Do Good Wednesday
Be a kindness ambassador. I know! I know! It sounds corny, but I’m so super serious. Leave a note, a present, anonymously somewhere in your town or school for someone specific or anyone at all.
Need a specific idea on how to do this? There used to be a blog called Secret Agent L (I think) where the person in charge of the blog went around their town doing this sort of thing. It was cool.
Random Marketing and Book Things Since I am an Author and Need To Make Money.
I KNOW! I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO ADMIT IT.
My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!
Kirkus Review says: A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.
The podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, has a new podcast that came out Tuesday. All the episodes links are on this page.
This podcast is weird, quirky, and totally authentic. I mean, you can tell we are goofy people just trying to share some writing tips and life tips and we are not sitting in the NPR studio. I mean look at us. We’re total dorks.
And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.
Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.