I had planned to have a second draft of WFTD completed by the end of October. That’s not going to happen, but I’m not too far off the mark. The short break I took from the work helped. When writing a first draft, I can sit for hours, hammering away at the keyboard for days on end. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly healthy way to do it, as you emerge weeks later into the light, a withered, pale husk of a person. But a withered pale husk with a shiny new book!
But I can’t handle new drafts or revisions in the same way, I just burn out too quickly. I find it important to set restrictions on what work to do each day. So today for example, I plan to work on five chapters, and five chapters only. There’s always a temptation, if I finish earlier than I expected, to press on and keep going, to do five more. But it’s important to stop, take a break, or just, if I do want to keep writing, work on something completely different. Because I know if I do press on, I won’t be able to approach those next five chapters with the same level of quality or enthusiasm that I did the first. My attention will begin to fade, I might start to rush things, and I just won’t be happy with the end product.
You know, I’d love to be able to finish a draft, and then immediately wipe my memory of it once it’s done, so I can look at the work totally objectively. That would help a lot. But that would also make me forget all the fun I had writing it, which…wait, fun? What the hell am I saying, writing is a bloody nightmare!
I’ve now written over fifty posts on this blog. I never expected to do more than a couple before forgetting all about it, so I guess that’s something.