Revisions Process–Scheduling

As I’m getting deeper into the revise and resubmit process, I wanted to talk a little about how I’m going about this revision as a writer who has never professionally published before. Because it’s going to run a little long anyway, I’m going to break each part out for in-depth discussion. As you can see from the title, this first post is about scheduling.

Anyone who has visited my day job office knows that I’m a creature of checklists. I must have a process laid out for how I’m going to approach something, or everything will turn into a hot mess. Combine this with my belief in the importance of reputation (if I say I’m going to do something, I had better keep my promise) and you can imagine how important it was for me to engage in some serious time management before I even gave the agent an estimate of when I would get back to her.

Doing some basic research on revisions, I came up widely varying estimations of how long revisions should take. The median seemed to be consistent with a two-month figure, so I picked that as my base. I thought that, with pushing myself, I could likely get this done and resubmitted within two months.

Then I told the agent I’d get the revision back within “a few months” because hey, this is my first time, I had better give myself some wiggle room.

Looking at my two-month figure, I decided what tasks I wanted to accomplish. I gave myself 1 week to read and take notes on possible changes, 4 weeks for major revisions, 2 weeks with my new betas (while I would work on minor sentence-level revisions and typo hunting), and 2 weeks for beta feedback. It ran a little over, but I hoped I could shave some time in the “reading” and “post-beta” parts.

Seems simple enough, right?

Except I realized about a week in that I forgot to account for some major life events. My brother is home from Amsterdam over the US Independence Day holiday. I have a major vacation planned for the end of July. These things are slightly important to getting my revisions back to the agent when I said I would. So I had to make adjustments. I ended up with three weeks on the major revisions and trying to push my betas to get back to me sooner, while hoping to do some serious work on the micro revisions in the mean time. In the end, I have a schedule that looks cramped, but I think I can stick with it.

Anyway, that was my basic process for arranging my revisions process. Like my archery instructor said–a whole lot of life is about completing a process. Having this process outlined in advance will hopefully save me time in the long run.

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