I know many of you are in the same boat, getting ready to send things off to agents and publishers you may have queried or met at the ACFW conference. So I thought I'd share with you a few things I've found that help keep me motivated.
- Eat Dove chocolate ice cream minis. Seriously, these things are a-mazing. I was planning to institute a one-mini-per-fifty-pages rule, but I ran out. Boo.
- Break the work into chunks. Last night, I read something like one hundred pages. That was a lot. By the time I finished, I was shaky feeling because it was 11 o'clock and I hadn't eaten, and I was also being overly critical of my book. I've found I stay much more sane and keep a healthier perspective if I work in chunks, say, fifty pages at a time (i.e. the Dove chocolates... boo again that they're gone!)
- Remember the heart of your story. It can be easy to slip into a must-delete-everything mentality when you take an overly-critical perspective. Instead, let your story breathe. There's a reason you wrote it and stuck with it so long. Remind yourself what that is while you're rereading.
- Read on another medium. I have found that for whatever reason, my Kindle is magical. It really helps me pretend my book is already published and catch the errors (and opportunities for strengthening) that I would catch if I were reading someone else's book. (You know you correct errors in other people's writing--don't pretend you don't! ;) ) If you don't have a Kindle but do have an iPhone, you can get the Kindle app and still send the manuscript to yourself to read. I think Julie usually does this. Correct me if I'm wrong, girl.
- Surround yourself with positive heart-things. Quotes that inspire you, books you love, and even photos or artwork can help spark that courage that will take you from a good writer to a great one. The power of a strong voice often can be found when a writer discovers his or her own strength. So, as the saying goes, when your heart calls, listen.
Do you have any tips to share? How do you get through last-minute polishing work on your story?
*Photo from http://www.dietsinreview.com/slideshows/best-low-calorie-ice-cream-treats-for-summer/dove-chocolate-miniatures/