Stake in the ground

In the corporate world where I work, catchphrases pass between us like viruses, just like slang used to pass between us in high school.

"Let's put a stake in the ground" is one of those catchphrases. But it never had personal meaning to me until recently.

For the last month I've been floundering around the topic of revision. I felt like my novel needed at least one more revision before sending it out into the world. But it seems as if I have revised my current novel so many freaking times. I have pressed through it, pushed through it and made progress, but I was ready to be done. Imaginary timelines in my head said I should be done by now, so I resisted the idea of revising one more time, or one more time after that. I just didn't want to do it. I fought it.

I was also wrestling with questions about my dreams of being a published author. It's not always easy to justify pouring so much of myself into something with such daunting odds of success. 

I let myself stay in that place of questioning, which I think was the right thing to do, much as I hate losing a month of time to it, because when I was finally ready it felt like a click, a shift. Last week I knew I was ready to put that stake in the ground. Construction could begin. I had decided.

I've come to realize that I've made it so far, so stinking far, and I shouldn't let imaginary timelines stop me now. The point isn't whether I do two more revisions than I planned or whether the revisions take six weeks longer than I planned. The point is reaching the end product I want.

So, here I go again. Revising again. Heavens help us.

p.s. Hot pink Sharpies are my favorite revising tool.


  1. hooray for putting that stake in the ground! it feels like a significant one...
    i was so taken by the image of the fibre tips in the jar (i'm a sucker for those, you see?), i didn't expect what was coming. you have written a novel? well done!!!! i wish you all the luck in the world, and courage, first with revising, then with publishing it. you're doing it!
    i must come back then to find out, yeah? i couldn't find your e-mail address, so i just put my reaction to your visit over at mine's here. cheers for popping by too!

  2. Yay! That is such a great attitude to have. I've been there, too. I went through so many revisions that I thought would be last revisions in my book, and it was frustrating because I kept telling myself, "after Christmas, it'll be done." Or, "after this revision, I'll work on the query letter." But something kept nagging at me, and I finally realized that getting the book done right was more important than getting the book done "on time." Good luck with it! I have a feeling you'll be happier to have revised in the end ;)