Here’s how writing a book goes for me.
I get up in the morning, read in bed until I hear my egg white frying and smell the coffee, get up, brush my teeth and make my way out to breakfast on the back porch. Yes, I have a husband who makes me breakfast every morning. Highly recommended for every writer, and everyone else.
After feeding and watching the birds, I take care of housekeeping items. That can mean actual things to do in and around the house for our continued existence or it can mean answering emails, checking on yoga students, catching up with friends.
Time to sit down to write.
In two hours a reminder goes off for me to do at least 10 minutes of yoga to rescue my joints and then it’s back to writing. If bells didn’t go off every two hours, I could (and have been known to) sit and write for 8 hours without moving. That might work for a 20 year-old but not so much for my old bones.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I am blessed with this routine and with writing a first draft that flows. I’m a little in love with my characters. I wish they were real so I could have a cup of coffee with them.
And then….It’s Done! Great feeling, right?
Then I start on the first edit.
Wake up. Read. Breakfast. Birds. Housekeeping.
Procrastinating. Editing? Not so much fun.
But, okay, at some point…It’s Done!
Second and third edits, with beta reader assistance, more procrastinating, no longer any need for a reminder every two hours unless it’s a reminder to get back to editing.
Now it gets harder. The big re-write. Bless the beta readers. One character needs more depth. One chapter needs to be torn apart. Too many adverbs. Too many words.
Suddenly I find myself watching TV series downloaded from Netflix in the middle of the day while my re-write beckons. I have to help a friend find a wedding dress. I need a new playlist for my Sunday night yoga class.
The first draft took four months of fun and the re-write took almost as long but of procrastination. I hear James Patterson’s words in my ear – your writing is not holy! If it doesn’t move the story forward, get rid of it.
And then, today at 5:10 p.m…It’s Done!
I feel like a Cucumber Gin Gimlet or two or five and dancing all night.
My manuscript is written, edited three times and re-written. I’ve sent it off to three new beta readers.
Sure, I’ll be back at it next week after I get feedback but, for now, It’s Done.