Progress?   Leave a comment

Revising takes way longer than I expected when I got started on it. It’s a bit frustrating. But when I got my new office all set up and sat in there on the first morning, I found that I just couldn’t sit and edit on the computer. The system I eventually settled on was going through each scene and rewriting them on paper (with changes). Because I can be very tactile when it comes to paper and pens and whatnot, I’ve only been able to concentrate for more than five minutes if I use a real wooden pencil. Which means lots of sharpening. And then of course I have to retype everything. But I’ve been very happy with my results so far.

Welcome to the brain of a writer.

Somehow, maybe because of the time it takes to go from brain to pen, I’ve always written better by hand. So, it’s slower, but I’m less likely to need 5 or 6 drafts this way. And I suppose that’s an acceptable trade. But between that and the fact that I’ve been working, there was no way I was going to get the thing ready for the ABNA deadline.

I felt like things were moving slowly, but I wasn’t quantifying it in any way, so it was just my impression. So I sat down and figured out how many pages I’d edited and how many pages there were total. And things really were moving slowly, though 10% isn’t such a bad number. It was nowhere near 100% though. In the end, the important thing is that I’ve been learning to quantify things so that I can hold myself accountable for my writing time. I put a nifty little progress bar on here, and I’ve been keeping a log in Joe’s Goals (which I love). So if I go more than a day without working on things, I can see it visually. And that should help tremend0usly.

I took one of those tests that tell you your learning style back when I was tutoring. And the conclusion was that I was all of them, with a little bit higher score in Reading/Writing. As a tutor, it meant that I could translate things into different learning styles. But when it comes to how I work, it means that I’m visual for some things, aural for others, tactile for others. Like how I won’t remember how to get somewhere (even if I’ve been there dozens of times) unless I actually drive there myself. And if I don’t have a place for bills to be right in front of me, I forget that I need to send people checks (this is one of those things that I particularly hate about myself). And when I’m editing something, I have to print it out and do it on paper, usually with a certain pen or pencil. It can be frustrating sometimes to try to figure out a new system when I’m trying something I haven’t done before. But eventually I hit on a system that works. And for now, the cobbled together progress bar + logbook + office hours thing seems to be working.

Though, it makes me curious. I know other writers have to have weird quirks like my pencil thing. I wonder how many different weird writing rituals there are out there.

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