For a while now I’ve been struggling with revisions of stories. I seem to have no problem writing new stories, and working on novels has been going well lately. But old stories which have gone through the critiquing process – either with Altered Fluid or at Clarion West – have given me pause. I’ve resisted diving back into them, and when I do, I often feel like I don’t know what to do.
I’ve thought a lot about the reasons for this and I think it comes down to fear of breaking them. Most of these stories have something that I like in them. These tend to be my most recent stories, stories that have received better feedback and I think there’s a fear there about taking away what makes them special, of losing something – the voice, the energy, the freshness. But, as we all know, fear is the mind-killer. It’s preventing me getting these stories, stories that I think are some of my best, out into the world.
So, my goal for February is to work on revising some of these stories. I’ll be conservative and say I’ll revise (to a point where I can submit them) three stories. I’m going to shoot for five, though. It’s a short month and there are birthday celebrations and other things going on, but I’m going to commit to this. When I have more stories circulating, then I can feel better about diving back into the novels (not that they’re going to be ignored).
Do other people out there ever have this problem with revising?