First of all, it's cold in my office. Very cold. We had to lock the cat upstairs last night--and for all future nights--because he simply wakes us up too many times so that we feel like we have a newborn baby. I've never met a cat so needy of human attention. We felt like guilty parents, but we slept better.
The point of my post, however, is not my cruel parenting but on the vagaries of revision. Someone asked me awhile ago if I liked revision. First I said no. Then I realized YES, I do like it. But only when I know what/how I want to revise and it's still in line with my vision.
I've taken my novel, which received encouraging, deeply positive rejections (such an oxymoron) and gutted it. It went from 360 pages to 230. Now I'm trying to fill in the caulk and build extra closets and make sure the foundation is holding with an entirely new set of blueprints tossed in long after I thought the house was done (I'm not sure why but I love talking about writing in house metaphors). My agent is waiting to read the revision. A couple of publishers said they'd take a second look. I have good reason to get moving on this.
But I have a case of Writer's Blech. Yes, you read that right. Writer's block would be a welcome condition--a familiar one at least in which I could say to myself--"honey, you're drained, you're blank of ideas right now. Don't force it. Let it ride."
Writer's Blech, on the other hand happens when you look at your work and shiver in disgust because you are quite sure you have no idea what the hell to do next, if you can make it work and who will ever care.
Which has forced me to think about a writer's vision. My vision. I started this novel with a clear vision...I knew what it meant and what I was trying to do. I acheived that to the best of my ability and with my agent's supreme feedback (and some great readers). The publishers, however, they didn't see my vision. It didn't work for them. Now, I could do whatever I want--go back to what I wrote for National Novel Writing Month which has that bouncy feeling of newness and intrigue and work on it. Nobody has locked me in my room and said "Revise or die!" In fact, I could become a buddhist overnight and renounce all ties to my ambition or desire to be published.
Obviously, that's not going to happen. So I'm rethinking this whole novel, but right now I have no passion for it. I feel flat about it. When I open the document, I think "Blech"...and I don't have a solution right now. It's just the way it is.