I admit that my last post was a last-ditch effort to motivate myself to start the next draft of my novel,
An Experiment in Time and Memory An Immutable Past.
And it worked!
(If you haven’t read my last post already, it will provide some context for this post 🙂 )
A week ago, I sat down at my laptop and considered the numerous projects I’m working on. I could write a blog post, or maybe start my email for next week, or write some of my draft of The Mistwaes Home. ‘Edit AIP’ wasn’t high on my to-do list that night. But as I thought about it, I felt a small (very small) pocket of motivation somewhere inside me to open that document and maybe get a chapter or two done before going onto happier tasks (like ❤ writing ❤ ).
I hadn’t worked on An Immutable Past at all for more than a week, and was halfway through chapter two. I reasoned that if I sat down semi-often to get through a couple of questions before the inevitable despair came, eventually I’d finish it all.
Plus, a big part of my time management process is the principle of latching onto motivation. If I feel any desire at all to do something productive, I’ll shove aside whatever else I was planning to do, and try to wring all the productivity out of that motivation. It might not be the most urgent thing on my list, but if I get some good quality, efficient work out of that spark of interest, it’ll be better in the long run.
Anyway, that night, I set myself a challenge.
I put on one of my favourite soundtracks: the score to Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and decided to work on editing An Immutable Past until the album ended. I took breaks when an advertisement came up (which wasn’t as often as I’d thought it would be, thanks YouTube -_- ) and checked in occasionally with some fellow writing friends who were working at the same time.
Chapter two was tough. It details a car chase that, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know was problematic from the start. It’s always been set in London, but I struggle to get those Aussie country roads out of my head when I imagine it. My beta readers had noted that there were paragraphs that “told” instead of “showed”, and that I needed to engage more senses in my descriptions to make it more vivid and realistic.
Well, lucky I’ve been researching and writing about those two things, eh? Isn’t it crazy how God works things out to a perfect timing? There I was getting annoyed at myself for taking ages to edit this book, and in that time I was learning how to edit it better…
It took a lot of thought, and about a third of the soundtrack, but finally I finished chapter two. Onto chapter three!
Oh, there aren’t actually any comments to be resolved for chapter three. Or chapter four… or chapter five… and, oh that’s a quick and easy fix. Chapter Seven? Eight? Nine??
By the time the music was over, I was up to chapter forty-two of fifty!
I’m not very quick at editing, and I wasn’t that motivated. The reason it went so well was simply that chapter two had needed a lot of edits, and the rest of the book… didn’t. There were a few comments here and there (a few that are still being resolved as I discuss them with my readers), but because I was in the mindset to tear it apart, it was easy to correct them, resolve the comment and move on.
It only took nine drafts, but it seems An Immutable Past is finally getting close to what I want it to be!
The Sinbad soundtrack ended, but YouTube knows me too well. It started playing the soundtrack for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’s battle scene… now, how could I turn that off?
I ended up going through the whole book, fixing up comments and forming the beginnings of a to-do list for the next draft.
But more importantly, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief. I joked with the other writers that after so much complaining and dreading this draft, I felt cheated to get it done in a couple of hours.
I still have another draft to finish, with a few things to change/add/tweak throughout the book. Then I’m planning to hire an editor and probably do the whole thing again, but with a professional 😅. After that, hopefully new exciting stages will open up, involving covers, marketing, publishers, and finally getting it out for people to read and enjoy :). You’ll all get to know what I’m ranting about! XD
Am I that close to my dream? Am I so close to finishing the story I started typing out in August 2019; a story that’s had so many different villains, alternate endings and titles, that’s changed settings and main characters and lengths and focuses?
Was that it?
I wanted to share this update not only to give closure to my last post, but also to hopefully inspire and equip you to face your creative fears. If ever you feel a smidge of motivation, sit down and get it done. It might not be as hard as you thought it would be :).
So, wonderful creators, what’s something you dreaded doing, but wasn’t so bad once you got around to it?