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Taming the Revision Beast: A Guide for ADHD Writers




Hey there, fellow writers! Let's talk about a topic that often sends shivers down the spines of even the most seasoned wordsmiths: revising and editing. Yep, we're diving headfirst into the deep, murky waters of refining our written content – a task that can feel as daunting as trying to eat an elephant in one sitting. But fear not, my friends! Today, I'm here to share some tips and tricks to help you tackle the beast of revision one bite at a time.


How to Eat an Elephant – One Bite at a Time


Ever heard the saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time"? Well, the same principle applies to revising your writing. Instead of viewing the entire manuscript as an overwhelming behemoth, break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Focus on revising one chapter, scene, or even paragraph at a time. By tackling revisions in bite-sized portions, you'll prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed and make steady progress toward polishing your work to perfection.


Navigating the Revision Maze: A Non-linear Approach


For many ADHD writers, revising can feel like a Herculean task because, in our minds, we've already "written" the literary piece once. The idea of going back and revisiting familiar territory may not seem as stimulating or exciting as the initial burst of creativity. But fear not, my fellow wordsmiths! There's a trick to psyching your mind into getting back into the revision groove: try editing non-linearly. Start with the parts of the story that you really enjoy or find particularly engaging. By diving into the most captivating sections first, you'll rekindle your enthusiasm for the revision process and gain momentum to tackle the rest of your manuscript with renewed vigor.


Embracing the Suck: Learning and Growing as a Writer


Repeat after me: first drafts and even second drafts are supposed to suck. Yep, you heard me right. Embrace the suckiness of your initial drafts, my friends, because that's where the magic happens. It's in the messiness and imperfections that we uncover our strengths and weaknesses as writers. Remember the anecdote I shared about my first novel? My editor pointed out a glaring issue with passive voice in my writing. Instead of feeling defeated, I leaned into the feedback, learned why the passive voice was problematic and made a conscious effort to improve. And you know what? It made me a better writer in the long run. So, don't be afraid to confront your flaws head-on. Embrace the learning process, and watch yourself grow by leaps and bounds.


Closing Thoughts: Tackling Revising Like a Pro


Now that we've covered the basics, let's wrap things up with some practical tips for tackling revising like a pro:

  • Break it down: Divide your revisions into manageable chunks to prevent overwhelm.

  • Mix it up: Try editing non-linearly to reignite your passion for the process.

  • Embrace the suck: Lean into the imperfections of your early drafts and use them as opportunities for growth.

  • Learn from feedback: Be open to constructive criticism and use it as fuel to improve your craft.

  • Celebrate progress: Remember, every step forward, no matter how small, brings you closer to your goal.


With a little bit of perseverance and a whole lot of patience, you can conquer the beast of revision and emerge victorious on the other side. Happy revising!

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