Tactile Revision

Track changes has been eating my lunch. I finally figured out yesterday that I needed to get away from the computer, where I had been trying for a long week to read my editor's comments on the manuscript, and answer them using the comments feature in track changes, while also revising on the computer -- it wasn't working. Each day I was a little more bogged down and depressed about it, especially about sections where I really needed to breathe and make some space for revision.

So I got outta town.

Jim and I climbed into the car yesterday afternoon, I brought my 325 pages with me, and we drove into the North Georgia mountains, to an artist fair in Blue Ridge, where we knew our artist friend Jimmy Murphy was showing.

As we pulled onto the highway, I tugged the rubber band off my pages, uncapped my blue Pilot fine point pen, began reading my editor's comments on the page, and -- lo! -- commented back, right on the page.

I began at the beginning, and I was surprised to see how easy it was, suddenly, to revise the small stuff when I could SEE it, splayed in front of me, like old times. Why didn't I do this sooner, instead of struggling so much this past week? Revising has felt like walking under water. Now I can breathe again.

We had a good time at the fair, had dinner with Jimmy and Kate, and rode home mostly in silence, holding hands, through the rain-spattered darkness. The mountains -- and good friends -- had worked their magic. This morning I'll enter my comments into the manuscript using track changes and see if I can move forward. I feel good about it now. I keep forgetting that I'm a tactile learner. I need to touch it, manipulate it, have my hands on it, and then I can move forward.