I read a humorous maxim recently by an author I admire on the frustrations of revision. The writer lamented that he hadn't gotten the "re"writing part in on the first try. The project would have been finished in half the time.
Corny, I know, but oh so true.
January has been a strong creative month for me in a couple of respects. Time away from the committee work, deadlines and grading at the college is restorative in its own right. And I've been able to go jogging almost every day, often out at the Spanish Pond or Atlantic Beach. But hitting the daily double at the computer has been the real key to unlocking a torrent of what feels like solid prose.
I've gotten in three or four hours of work in the morning almost every weekday this month. Usually I clean the place up around noon, eat a light lunch and hit a jog. I try to get my ass back in the seat by 3:00 or 4:00 and go for another hour. I've used the afternoon session, largely, to revise on the run. I'll go over the morning's work, tightening and tweaking, and then write a one-paragraph synopsis of where I'm headed for the next day.
I don't have the time for this, of course, when I'm balancing six classes over at the school, but it sure has been a blessing so far in 2009.
Come to think of it, double dipping is good in lots of things. I love the conference championships in football. Two weeks ago we had the AFC and NFC games in the same afternoon/evening. I love hitting a double feature at the movies. And twice is nice when it comes to a double-baker spud.
All great things.
If you can find the time to work on a project a couple of times a day, give it a shot. Try it on for size and see how the writing comes out.