January Revision

January has been one helluva writing month. Most months I don't feel like I have enough time to write. But, this month, something happened. Time opened up. I've been writing every day, hours disappear and I put my head up, sore necked and tired eyed and wonder what happened to the hours. Writing, that's what. I've finished the revisons on my novel manuscript. Over and over this month, I chose writing over many things that often push their way ahead.  It wasn't really even a choice or a have to. Even with a few beautiful days that might've lured me outside to see what the garden has to offer up (just out the window I see snowdrops and hellebore blooming, trees budding, daffodils and day lilies pushing up their pretty young greens), I wanted to stay in. I wanted to sit at my computer. I wanted to write. The garden is coming along just fine without me. So, while winter debris is left to compost where it dropped, while dust piles up on the shelves and crumbs gather on the floors, I've fallen even more deeply in love with the writing life.

I'm happy with how the revisions have turned out and especially glad to have had this month to really go through the last 100 pages and consider how the story ends.  Because I was changing the narration from first person to third, and from present tense to past, I had the chance to consider what work each word, sentence, paragraph and scene are doing for the story. I had to be willing to let go of things I once thought were necessary.  With each scene, I considered: what does she want in this moment? What's in her way? Do we learn something new?  Does she grow or change?  Revision is one of the best things about writing.

In the meantime, even with this head-down writing month, I've had a chance to look up and get out into the world, or on the phone or Facebook or email. I've had some pretty wonderful contact with some very cool people, old friends and new connections. And I think, in my metaphorical background, I've been asking myself those same revision questions.

It's paying off, all the way around.

I look forward to whatever February has to offer up.

Jackie Shannon Hollis