I’ll often get ideas about blog topics, then by the time I sit down to write one, I’ve forgotten all the interesting things I wanted to write about. Just yesterday, as I was working to finish this book, something struck me as a good blog topic (and it was unrelated to writing). By the time I got around to starting a new post, I’d forgotten it.
But something that has been on my mind with this book is that ever-evolving mysterious thing known as Process. When I was unpublished, I wrote when I pleased. I tried to do it everyday. But I didn’t always. And I wrote and rewrote books two or three times. Spent 3 years on the book that ended up being my GH finalist last year. Gah, that’s too long!
But now that I’m writing for an editor, I’ve realized a couple of things.
1) Procrastination and perfectionism are not my friends.
2) I have always known I can write fast when I put my mind to it — but I can in fact produce a whole book in a matter of weeks if I respect my process.
3) My process, which is probably still evolving, goes like this:
a. Write one chapter.
b. Rewrite chapter.
c. Write second chapter.
d. Rewrite first and second chapter.
e. Write third chapter.
f. Rewrite first, second, and third chapter.
g. Write fourth chapter.
h. Cry about how bad the whole thing is.
i. Revise four chapters.
j. Write chapters 5 and 6.
k. Tweak first several chapters along with 5 & 6.
l. Stall on chapter 7.
m. Finally write chapter 7.
n. Tweak all chapters.
o. Write rest of book in varying degrees of speed — sometimes slow and easy, other times breakneck.
p. Reread all the above. Add, subtract, or revise as needed.
q. Send to editor.
It takes me twice as long to write the first half as it does the second. It’s been that way through two contracted books now, so I can only hope I will evolve further and not need so much gnashing of teeth on the setup. But that setup is so crucial that it just twists me into knots and takes me forever to get it worked out.
And now, back to the mad dash…. What’s your process like?