It’s terminal!


Well, maybe it’s not terminal, but it’s permanent. My diagnosis came through. I’m suffering from RISD. It may not be lethal, but it’s definitely frustrating.

This new illness – RISd – Revisionitis Intolerance Syndrome Disorder, means that my tolerance for revisions is very low.

So, because you won’t find RISD in any search engine, I’ll define it here for you:

RISD, or Revisionitis Intolerance Syndrome Disorder, is a chronic illness that plagues writers, often causing them to have little to zero tolerance to revise or edit their current work in progress. This disease can be mild, giving the writer at least a few hours to work on their wip, or acute, leaving the writer with no option but to work in bursts and fits.

There are stages for RISD, and this is how it starts:

1- Procrastination.

Every time I finish the first draft of a book, I flounder. The need to get the story polished is there, but I find a million other things to occupy my spare time with.

2- The loss of focus.

After the first stage, RISD progresses to the loss of proper focus. Sentences that need re-writing will go unnoticed, as well as details I’d know, but can’t figure out at the time unless a certain amount of rest goes by.

3- The need to desperately fall asleep.

If I keep on pushing, eventually I start dosing off. Sometimes I just grit my teeth and go back where I think the loss of focus began and start again. However, RISD is very sneaky, and things become so repetitive they turn into a lullaby.

4- Mushy brain cells.

Whenever I get determined to get at least a certain amount of pages done, I’ll force myself from that wonderful nap, grit my teeth, drink my coffee and force my attention right back where I’d stopped. And my brain cells turn into a soggy mush, or, depending how hard I’m working, get fried to the point I have trouble – for a second or two – recalling the names of my kids. Note: This final stage is the nailer. If I let myself get to this part, my tolerance for revisions are shot and I need to put my wip aside for a few days (weeks if the cells get fried).

**So there it is, my new diagnosis for a new illness in my long list of disease collection. My RISD is acute and it’s not fun. I have no trouble while I’m drafting a story, I can write well into the night. But when the revisions and editing begin, I simply lose my rhythm. I’ve learned that my tolerance level is anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and a half.

What about you, do you have RISD? Can you work on your draft, revising, editing and pecking away as long as you’d like, or do you have a limit?


94 Replies to “It’s terminal!”

  1. I haven’t written a book but I must have the same thing, only mine applies to everyday writing! Seems when I’m in a slump, I can find a million other things to do besides sit my butt in the chair lol. I hope yours gets better, maybe you should call in some help. Look on Fiver or Upwork and hire an editor.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have no trouble with the writing,, Kim, on the contrary, i get so lost when i’m drafting a story that hours can go by without me realizing that. As for the editor part, that comes very late in the stage, after a zillion revisions and edits and the beta readers. Hopefully there’s a cure, but meanwhile i’ll keep my teeth gritted and keep the coffee coming.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. WHO has already proven that RISD spreads through communication with other writers(who may or may not not be already infected), even through notes, comments or even liking their posts. Writer Health Organization is not well funded, so people dont take it seriously yet.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Jina, you probably need a partner, someone who you could collaborate with and discuss where things are going. Some people have one person write the first draft, the other person writes the second draft and then they discuss what is next.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That’s collaboration, and it’s a good idea. I do get the help part, but that’s after i’ve done some revisions and edits. Those people, the beta readers, will read and let me know what works, what doesn’t, point out plot holes and whatever. then comes more revisions and then it’s off to the editor, and then more revisions – are your eyes glazed yet – then off to the publisher for another proofread. What i wouldn’t give for a fairy godmother to bibadibobadi boo my book into a polished story!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked your wordsmithing process and will be trying it. Maybe that’s what i need, focus it a bit at a time instead of trying to pay attention to all the typos, grammar, spelling, plot holes and setence structure.


  4. You’re gonna hate me and my team. I love editing and rewriting! It’s the fun part. Once. Twice. Three times. Enough. PS Are you trying to edit on several fronts? Eg fixing characters, plot, style and grammar simultaneously?That is pretty much impossible.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I read about authors who do that, but for me, i revise and edit while i go,instead of the organized edit/revision session,s i’m like a bulldoser. I need to keep coming back and forth to get everything smooth.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. once, twice, twenty times – as long as i need to. And yeah, i do things as i go, then i go over it again. then i put it aside for a month , a month and a half and re-do the once, twice, thrice magic. if it’s good enough, i sent it out to the betas. if i think i can fix more, i fix until i think it’s great. then off to the betas, and when it’s back, all mangled and bleeding, i start that once, twice, thrice magic again. Off to the editor, and back all mangled and patched. and when it’s got a glowing sheen, off to the publisher for a last proofread. By the time the book is ready to go, i can no longer stomach it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read the title and was pretty sure that it was going to be a spoof.
    Then I read “Revisionitis Intolerance Syndrome Disorder” and all of a sudden, it sounded serious. I have to admit that I jumped to a conclusion. I saw “vision” in there, and I thought it was something concerning your health. I’m glad that is not the case.

    I can sooooo relate. I’ve been through those stages a month, or so ago. After the last one, I still have not gone back.

    Wishing you better luck.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Funny! On the vision front, I’ve already lost that about 12 years ago – I’m blind as a bat, only i have no sonar waves.
      You’re procrastinating? that’s only the first stage. Wait till you start falling asleep!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just when I think I’ve enough damnable (creative) ailments, I learn of another one. 😵

    This one has a herpes feel about it. That is, it’s an shameful pain we hide behind other (cute/clever) names, it flairs up when it’s MOST inconvenient, there’s no cure, and you have it for life.



    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, Jina. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you. I don’t have RISD, fortunately. But I do have – IDID Initial Draft Intolerance Disorder. It’s torturous this time around. I wish you luck getting over your symptoms. (Thanks for the smile, though I’m groaning too).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have no trouble with IDID, and if I ever encounter a glitch while i’m drafting, i simply put it away for a day or two and consider my next step. As for revisions and edits, it’s like trying to find the door by banging my head on the wall – eventually i gotta stop to keep myself from bleeding. And then realizing there are no doors anywhere. It’s a cycle, and once i’m through the draft, i start banging my head again.
      Glad I made you smile and I hope things are great for you and your family.
      Thanks for the visit, I know you’re busy.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jina, I love this post! 😀 First, thank you for the diagnosis and name of my affliction! Your sense of humour shines through here whilst touching on a topic that affects so many of us! Seriously, revisions & edits are hard going … I can empathise with the feeling of a mushy brain! It’s amazing how many other urgent matters pop up when I settle down for edits! Hope your RISD diminishes, my friend! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Annika. It’s frustrating, but i couldn’t help but find humor in the fact that i can write for hours with no end, but can’t edit for more than 90 mins even if my life depended on it.


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