The Long Slog

My book is due in less than four months. Less. Than. Four. Months.

What had been a fairly leisurely, enjoyable journey has downshifted into a harder gear. I need to get this fist draft done. I need to do more research on clocks, and horology. I need to let it sit. And then I need  to do the next draft. And then ask for edits. And then format it. And then hit send. All in less than four months. It will get done, and I will keep you posted on my progress. But here’s what I’ve learned so far.

First of all, slow and steady does win the race. I’ve gotten off the 1000 words a day habit, and I regret it. It doesn’t feel like enough some days, and other days it is torture. But it builds on itself a bit at a time. This weekend I am going to sprint a bit more, and catch up to the schedule I set for myself.

I keep moving forward, resisting the urge to go back and “fix” it. This is my choice. I do put notes in scenes, telling myself to go back and add xyz to an earlier scene, but I don’t do it just now. As I move forward, there are other surprises that come up. Let the muse tell me the story. And use the next draft to help it make sense.

Scrivener is a wonderful tool. I need to learn how to use it better, but it is unbelievably helpful.

Being a plotter pays off. This is not to say that things don’t change, but if/when they do I go and tweak the outline. And having goals for each scene makes it all much easier. Or less difficult.

Which brings me to the last bullet point for today. This isn’t easy, this writing a book. But it is joyful.

Much more to come. Looking forward to a long weekend of writing.

24 thoughts on “The Long Slog

  1. May I click and paste this? It sounds so much like the process I am in as well. Writing can sometimes equate to describing what being masochistic is like. Do writers find pleasure in the pain of the birthing process?

  2. Hello! Your post resonates so much with me. I too need to learn how to fully use scrivener, but I love how I can so easily swap chapters around, have my research notes & pictures on there and compile into a novel format etc. It’s great to have.
    My husband recently heard an author interview on the radio, and this particular woman said how she only ever writes 500 words per day, every day, at a set time. That’s how she gets her books written. So, you can guess that dear hubby now dictates this is what I should do. If I wish to write more, he tells me not to – not that I listen. You do what’s right for you, but I have a set daily minimum of 500 words, and if I don’t write on a particular day, it upsets the flow and makes the next day harder. So, naturally I generally achieve my count plus more.
    I’m working on my 2nd novel – 1st to be published and this 2nd draft is due to be completed shortly and it’s a great feeling to be hurtling towards the finish line. But it’s my own deadline, and I will be self publishing following professional edits etc. Best of luck to you with yours and again, great post.

    • Thank you! Your husband sounds very supportive in his own way. My cat just loves when I write, so she can sit next to me and flick the keyboard.

      Best of luck with your books, and your publishing journey. Your deadlines may be self imposed, but you are meeting them. Not everyone does.

      And Scrivener. I need to take a Gwen Hernández class again, to learn a new layer. Just an amazing tool.

  3. Love–and applaud–the sentiment that “joyful” does not mean “easy.” There is, truly, satisfaction in the work. OK, maybe not the slog per se, or the fear that creeps in when one gets behind (on anything! writing, office work, cleaning the bathroom…), but it’s keeping the big picture in mind. You are creating! How awesome is that?! Living your dream, Julie. Which includes that butt-in-chair slog. I’m in awe and admiration. (I’m also happy to proof if/when you need a second eye!)

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