Merciless Commitment

What is merciless commitment? When I was writing my novel, one of the things I looked forward to was completing it.  Dont' get me wrong.  I loved the process.  If I didn't, I'd stopped writing a long time ago.

What I didn't expect was the constant revising and rewriting.  Every day I would getideas, learn about writing, or want to add details to the story.  And each time I'd go through my manuscript, taking me anywhere from one to four months, depending on the extent of the idea, writing technique, etc.

Last November I received a professional critique on my novel and worked hard for the next four months.  It was a heavy revision after many prior revisions.

This last February marked my final revision.  God it felt good.  Then I went to my first writers conference to learn about the business, learn about writing, and pitch my book to agents.

Then it happened.

While attending a seminar something clicked in my head.  For some reason I became aware of the intricacies of conflict.  That conflict can happen on different levels at the same time, adding to the depth of the scene.  For example:

Guy:  "Wanna go to dinner?"

Girl:  "Sure. Where?"

Guy:  "How about pizza."

Girl:  "Had it for lunch."

Guy:  "Chinese."

Girl:  "Yuck.  The grease? You want me to get fat?"

Guy:  "Okay." Guy rubs the back of his neck. " There's this new salad place."

Girl:  "Am I fat?"

Guy:  "No.  Just recommending--"

Girl:  "Whatever."  She tosses her Valentines card, leaves the dozen roses and box of chocolates on the coffee table.  "Let's go."

Guy:  "Okay."

It's obvious the guy put no thought into Valentines day.  He's trying to accomadate her but can't seem to figure out why she's upset.  Girl is mad, punishes him by being difficult, but wonders if he loves her anymore, or finds her attractive.

This small piece of enlightenment in writing technique created an explosion of doubt.  Did I do this in my story?  There's only one way to find out.  Read every single line of my manuscript.  Not only was I frustrated, but I questioned my grit.  Then I remembered theturtle.

I threw out any doubt of my dream and put my nose to the grindstone and finished my last revision.

Crap!

In writing myEpisodesI learn about efficiency.  I only give myself about 1 1/2 word doc pages to write each episode.  So every word matters.  And I fell in love with this way of writing.  Now I'm back revising with this new insight.  I don't get upset anymore about working.  I just do it because merciless commitment is required in any worthy endeavor.