This post courtesy of keyboardsmashwriters:
I love revision. But I also really, really hate it. It’s hard work, and it’s a lot of critical hard work. One of the hardest parts is sitting my butt down and forcing myself to get to it, so as I delay doing just that, here are some of the rituals I do that help me focus:
Take care of primary needs. This means I’ve eaten, because food in my belly keeps my energy up and focused, and whenever my thinking power starts to wane, I know I need to eat again and I do so as soon as I can. Anything else I might need (such as tissues or snacks) I make sure is within arm’s reach of me.
Take care of ritual needs. For me, this means I go through my dashboard first, make my tea, detox for a bit, do some blog work and cross a few to-do’s off my list, perhaps go for a walk, and then begin rereading where I last left off. A set pattern that I follow makes it easier for me to get into working mode.
Listen to a few songs that pump me up. Upbeat songs get my creative powers focused, but the key is that I can’t be scrolling Tumblr or reading something else simultaneously. I have to listen to a few songs, let myself think only about my story, and become fully immersed and invested. This helps create a driving need to work on it.
Revise in solitude. When I write, I write to music. When I revise, it’s more like library time. I need to be able to hear my story without the music, to see it clearly and without any influence that music gives. If I don’t have absolute quiet, I keep my headphones on to block out noise. If my street’s particularly noisy, I have rain, or white noise to block out distracting noise.
Seven minutes of uninterrupted focus. The first few minutes are agonizing, torturous, and I writhe and resist and only by the sheer force of will am I able to press on. But after those first few minutes, I completely switch on and go with great speed.