Returning to the city from an intense revision/editing retreat at Sparkbox Studio, I am noticing that even though I made excellent progress I don’t feel very awesome. Partly it’s sheer brain-exhaustion from wrangling a 350-page project into some kind of coherence. But it’s also the role I’ve been forced to play in relation to my work. A substantive revision uses certain of a writer’s muscles but not others:
I’ve had to be analytical, logical and critical so that I could solve problems in chronology, cause and effect and character development. But all this left-brain heavy lifting meant I had to leave my right brain on the bench. I had to leave aside the juicy, emotional, play-fuelled aspects of writing.
Right now I am deaf to the music of my story and blind to the sparkle of it. The logic is there but I am full of doubt about the art. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to this stage being over.