This week I’m not going to bother providing details of my progress, as it can be pretty well seen how terribly I did this week. I wrote three stories. My weekly nonfiction piece, my fiction piece, and a microstory. All of them were poorly written. They were rushed and pretty much unreadable, and I feel pretty guilty that I put my name against them.
But it’s weeks like this that remind me of one thing. I am becoming more aware of how well I write when I provide myself time to do it. Each of the stories were first drafts. Not a single one was edited or any great amount of time spent on them. There was a clear difference between the quality of last week’s entries (my flash fiction piece, “Dandelion Queen”, has got to be one of the best original ideas I’ve had this year) and this week’s. I painstakingly worked through Dandelion Queen until I felt she was as good as I could get with the time I had.
There’s a major reason this all happened this week.
When I returned to work from my vacation, I was advised I was part of an implementation team for a new project underway in my department. I’ve been working pretty tirelessly at getting a work procedure written, and that all culminated this week. One of the main contributors to keeping me sane during this time was actually interstate this week, but still, in my grand-infinite wisdom, I decided this week would be the one that I would present this work procedure in a big meeting on Thursday. I figured I would have time during work to finish the document, but I realised by Tuesday that there was not enough time during the work day.
So… for the first time in three years, I brought my work home with me. And worked until 10pm every night. Then I went to bed to be up again at 5 to do it all over again.
That didn’t leave much time for writing. Or thinking, really. But I completed the presentation, and hopefully now I’ll have a bit of a lull before I’m getting smashed again.
Yesterday and today I have taken a break from writing. I spent the rest of today reading the first draft of my book. I’ve been taking a page out of Stephen King’s book, On Writing, and waited a while before reading my book so I could forget everything I had previously written. It was good advice. Because as I was reading it, I was critiquing it every step of the way. I highlighted sections I loved, marked out sections that didn’t proceed the plot at all, and wrote notes like, “Would my character really react this way to being told that?” I found a lot of sections that had characters moving from one room to another with no real reason why it even mattered. Or places where I wrote “she did this, then she did that. She felt…”
These are the joys of editing a book written during NaNoWriMo. It was always going to happen, because the writing will get lazy as you’re trying to get out as many words as you possibly can.
Funny thing is, I’m enjoying this part of it. I’m equally excited about the notion that I can do it all over again on book 2. So I joined up with Camp NaNoWriMo with the goal of 30k words in the month. Granted, this might be a big ask, since this implementation team project starts in earnest in April. Buuutttt… I’m going to try anyway! So I’m ceasing work on book 2 for the time being, and I will spend the remainder of this month editing book 1, reading, and participating in my weekly challenges (though it may only be one or two challenges instead of four). I even joined a cabin with some other bloggers, so yay for motivation! 😀
And that’s me for this week. Here’s to a much more productive week next week! 😉