My One Word (aka New Year’s Resolution) for 2011 was to finish my book.
Instead, I wrote a second one.
What’s that about? Well, what I told myself at the time was that I was following a strategy that Stephen King advocated in On Writing, where you put your “finished” manuscript into a drawer and basically ignore it for a few months.
My gut tells me that it was really about procrastination.
So there I was, in December of 2011, and I had only reached Chapter 2 (of 50+) chapters in my book since I’ve been editing the typos and such out of it. My husband, once again, took pity on me. He suggested that I get a room with a view to work on my edits, freer from housework, mail, mommy (and wife!) roles, and other distractions, since this had been so effective (I’m ashamed to admit this) almost one year ago, when I was getting the printed out copy ready to become a proof copy.
And so I did. I got about one-third of the way through the proof that day. I set a goal to reach page 100, which I accomplished. I estimate the book is a little over 300 pages at this point (since I neglected to add them in the proof copy, I don’t know for sure!) so that’s not a bad day’s work.
The good news is that the manuscript for the second book is much less of a mess than was/is the first. I figured out that I needed to put in the chapter breaks and blank pages as I go, because they do not magically appear at the end when you finish, as I had previously thought. I also know how to paginate the darn thing, which I didn’t know for manuscript #1.
Maybe it was really all part of the writing process?
7 thoughts on “Finishing my (first) book”
Novel Girl: and I love THIS line: “I’m just afraid of reading something horrible.” I know, right? Sometimes I go back to my book and think, “OMG, what crap,” and sometimes I think, “OMG, this is GREAT! I wrote this??”
Hmmm….maybe we aren’t are own best critics?
Yep, we are our own *best* critics. What an enlightening conversation this has been.
Sometimes, it’s just about giving yourself the space you and your project need to grow. Good luck with both of your writing projects!
I love this line: “My gut tells me that it was really about procrastination.”
Yes, I tell myself I’m being a good writer for leaving my MS aside for 3 weeks (good job, Bec!), 5 weeks (wow, now I’m really getting some perspective), 7 weeks (just to be sure I’m not too close to my work), and etc.
I’m fooling myself. I’m just afraid of reading something horrible.
P.S. I put a link to your blog on my blog. 🙂
Aw, so kind. Thanks!