After re-writing my way through a couple manuscripts now, I'm finding that the third time is not the charm.
When I sat down to write my first one, I hammered it out in like 30 minutes and figured I rocked that puppy. Then I started reading this fabulous book "Writing Picture Books" by Ann Whitford Paul. And with each chapter I re-wrote, re-imagined, and re-focused my manuscript. Then I went through the whole thing another two times and revamped it each time. And then I let some folks critique it. And wrote it again. And then I finally submitted it. And now I wait for an editor to hopefully love it enough to send me more revision notes!
My second manuscript is still in the revision process. And while I haven't had to rewrite it as much as the first, it is still on version 7.0 or something like that.
So, as I have this fabulous idea in my head for my third manuscript, I'm hesitant to start. Not because I'm afraid of revision, but I'm clogging my brain so much with what I've learned, I'm having a hard time writing anything. I would start a sentence and think, "Oh, but I should use stronger words there." Or, "I shouldn't introduce a character like that." I finally just made myself sputter the idea out on a page so I have a starting place. I'm finding that trying to coordinate all of that knowledge about character, form, plot, pacing, word choice, strong beginnings, satisfying endings, showing instead of telling, etc. is just impossible to get down all at once. Revisions are the key to getting all that in. Hopefully more than one point can be addressed in each revision, but if not, so be it. I must be patient with myself as I learn! My blissful ignorance sure did make that first version of the first manuscript much easier to get down.