Embracing Tiger Drive

Vitality Stories

Teri Case

Embracing Tiger Drive

Gut says what?

I’ve been head down editing Tiger Drive. My goal is to complete it by July 31st. And when I say complete it, I mean do this final (and 13th edit) to the best of my capability so that I can make publishing choices and share it with the world. I am ready to move on–move on to Book 2 that has already been drafted and is ready for some TLC. And what about Book 3 and 4 – both ideas of which I am in love with and can’t wait to write?

So why now? Why am I so focused on getting it done now? Why am I ready? A few reasons.

First, I hiked for a week between the French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja. I learned a lot about ‘letting go’ as I walked portions of the Camino de Santiago. I have so much to tell you about this trip and experience, and how Tiger Drive came into play, that I have to save it for a long newsletter next week.

Secondly, I have a squad! The Tiger Drive Squadsters have been amazing. They are reading each chapter as I do the final edit, and I’m doing my best to stay ahead of them. Their ideas, input, and encouragement have made this journey fun and rewarding.

To get traction, I had to embrace what doesn’t work for me. I know, it seems like I should let go of a process that doesn’t work for me, but first I had to embrace what doesn’t work to figure out what would work.

I’m not someone who knocks out several edited chapters in a day. I always thought I should be so I pushed myself to do this, and that, my friends, is why Tiger Drive has had 13 revisions. With every round of edits that I forced out or kept working on even though I was emotionally drained, I always felt like I was forgetting something, but I’d throw my hands up and say, nope, time to finish this chapter and get going. And then, in the middle of the night or the next day, I’d realize something magical that I should have included in the chapter, a detail that would have taken the story to a new level, but I was too late. The ship had sailed, or the flight had taken off. I felt and looked like this:

So I embraced the fact that I needed time. Time for ideas to come to me, time for the characters to percolate and develop within me. But I also needed a goal date. Once I embraced this, I could let go of the pressure to get Tiger Drive done today. I could instead build in time for each chapter to become its best and set a realistic goal date.

This is what my day looks like now:

I do a light editing pass on three chapters at a time. Fresh in my mind, ideas start pinging me throughout the following days, so I’ll start grabbing some of those ideas and focus on one of the chapters. And I work on that chapter until I get a gut feeling that I’ve edited it to the best of my ability. And then I move on to the next chapter. This gut feeling seems to be happening on a daily basis now, and I am getting really excited about finishing Tiger Drive the right way, the best way.

I’m trusting my gut right now. That’s my creative process.

Have you ever had to work through a routine or process and figure out what works best for you by first embracing what didn’t work? Let me know about it.

By the way, inside scoop: I chose this picture of me because I look so gritty in it, like “don’t mess with me!” I’m claiming it as my editing face. I laugh whenever I see this picture because, I don’t know, it makes me feel a little exposed or embarrassed. My brother calls it our “trailer park face.” So in the spirit of embracing, I’m embracing my grit. Photo credit to the amazing Gretchen LeMay.

Until next time, thanks for being you!


P.S. Sorry for any typos. I’m so focused on editing the novel, I seem to be making typos everywhere else. LOL

Teri Case Vitality Stories

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