I got tickled when I first saw this word. I have to admit, I have dealt with rewrite-itis. What is it? It’s a severe condition that effects both published and unpublished writers according to The Everything Guide To Writing A Romance Novel. It means your are unable to call a book, chapter, or even a scene finished. So what causes the condition? A fear of failure or success. For me it is definitely failure.
What are the symptoms?
- Rewriting the same scene, chapter, or book more than ten times
- Never finishing a book, because you keep going back to polish the first chapter
- Constantly having others read your book with the hopes they will give you some revisions to do
- Taking your finished manuscript to the post office to mail, only to return home with it in hand for further revision
So what do you think? Do you have a case of rewrite-itis?
Rewrite-itis has a close cousin – Research-itis. Maybe you have that one too. True research is crucial to any novel, but an author needs to know when to say “Enough is enough.”
So what is the cure? Set goals and deadlines and stick to them. Remember your manuscript is your baby, but sooner or later you have to turn it loose.
Just something to think about.