Fun day of text revision

I was supposed to spend the day painting. I’m on deadline with illustrations for my next book. However, I’m on deadline for my next written book, too. To meet the later deadline, I decided to wake up earlier each day and do text revisions for an hour. But that wasn’t getting me very far, and working in small chunks of time slowed my enthusiasm overall. So today, I just decided to plow through that revision. Here’s what I learned:

• I can’t just plow through a picture book revision in one day. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to take several days. Writing nonfiction is not a simple task. Much less revision. With each text change and editorial request, I must double-check my sources. I can’t afford to get something wrong trying to write pretty words.

• Classical music rocks. Last month, I took a class at The Writing Barn on voice and character with Kathi Appelt, Susan Fletcher, and Uma Krishnaswami. Susan suggested writing to music, the thought of which made me dizzy and distracted. Even with classical music. But I gave it a try today. Classical music is soothing, and somehow blocks out other distractions — like my neighbor’s woof-woof-woof barking dog.

• I love writing in the kitchen. Getting out of my painting studio, into another environment is very liberating. Actually I learned this little lesson this summer while writing my next book — that sold last month!

Tomorrow is day two of full-out revision. I’m anxious to discover what else I’ll learn.