Book Revision 101: Sharing Your Story Well
For the majority of authors, starting a book is arguably the toughest part of the process. Being able to put your thoughts into thousands of words isn’t easy. Sharing your story in a way that will make sense to others is no small feat. Hence you should feel exceptionally proud when you reach that last page, and have your first draft in hand.
But once your first draft is complete, it’s time to revise with an editing eye, and this step can have its own challenges. Editing requires a unique skill set and a critical brain. And it can be tough to critique your own work and dig deep to correct any errors.
So how do you stay motivated through the second, third, or even fourth round of revisions? Try these tips that will keep the process rolling smoothly well after you finish the last page.
It’s OK to enjoy a moment to savor the completion of your book, and to celebrate how much you’ve accomplished!
Take a quick break from the writing process to enjoy something you love – whether it’s a weekend getaway, a hobby, or just a well-deserved rest of doing nothing at all. You’ll return to your work refreshed and with a little distance, which will help you catch any problems.
A realistic deadline can work wonders when it comes to staying motivated. Determine how much time each day you can dedicate to editing. And then use that as your guide for completing the revision process.
Don’t beat yourself up too much if you find issues and need more time for corrections. A deadline can be adjusted, and you can see it as more of a guideline rather than a final date for completion.
Ever notice how it’s easier to accomplish tasks when you can scratch them off a list?
The same concept applies to revisions! Edit minor spelling and grammar changes as you go, and make a list of bigger items you need to tackle. Once you’ve had a read-through of your completed work, you can go back and cover these larger changes, one by one.
Depending on how finished your first draft is when you start to revise, you may be overwhelmed by all the changes that need to be made.
Don’t get bogged down by the work, and don’t lose your motivation to keep going! You’ve already gotten the hardest part done – actually sitting down and writing your story. So now you can focus on how far you’ve come, especially if you start to worry about how much farther you have to go.
Your partner publisher can provide a wealth of assistance, from copyediting to book cover design, to ensure all the formatting is in place for your book to sell at stores around the world. Ask your partner publisher for assistance, and use them as the main resource to achieve your final, printed book.
Your story has the power to inspire, to help, and to touch people who have overcome similar obstacles all around the globe. Keep in mind the importance of your story, and why it needs to be shared, and you’ll stay on track until you hold your printed book in your hands.