Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Daily Writing Ritual

If only today were the day for Insecure Writers....

Since it isn't, I will express my optimism for my plan for the month of October - to edit a chapter a day of One Small Betrayal.  By that I mean edit again.  I've already done multiple edits through Chapter 26.  And, yes, I'm starting over again, editing again, hopefully for the last time, maybe the second to the last time.

But this time I feel like I'm looking at the story with a fresh perspective.  I can see what I need to add.  I can see my weaknesses and feel like I know how to fix them.  I just wonder if I will see even more problems six months from now. I wonder if it will ever be done...but that's a post for tomorrow.

My plan for October is to edit a chapter a day.  In theory, I can execute this in an hour.  But it actually took me about three hours yesterday to edit chapter one to the point that I was brave enough to send it to two of my relatives, whom I expect will be honest in their feedback, possibly brutally honest. 

Today, I planned to tackle Chapter 2, but one of my kids is sick and needed to be taken to the doctor.  Then I had to go to the pharmacy.  Now it's after 10 AM.  I need a shower.  And I only have about an hour until I go to get my small one from preschool. 

As I waited at the drive-thru window for the local pharmacy, it occurred to me that if I accomplish even half my daily goal, I will be able to edit or write 180 chapters in a year.  That's a goal worth working for in my opinion.  And I'm not going to start tomorrow.  I started yesterday.  And I'm not giving up today.  And not tomorrow.

What I am adding to my daily writing ritual is this - I also need to make the time to exercise 20 minutes a day.  Every day.  Starting today and not tomorrow.  Now.  Well, not now because I need to write now.  But before I go to bed, even if I feel like crap.  Even if one of my kids are puking.  Even if I save my writing until bedtime.  Maybe in a year, the exercise will add up to 20 pounds.

I need a sign for my desk so I don't forget. 



  1. I tried to do some editing yesterday but the Tigers game was on. But now that they clinched the division I don't have to pay attention for a few days which will give me more time to edit.

    1. If Tigers is football, I wouldn't have any problem writing while half-watching the game. Hockey, not so much. :)

  2. Even half a chapter is better than none. And go for it on the exercise - you'll feel better!
    I'm in limbo, waiting for CassaStorm to come back from my critique partners before diving back into edits. After four months of working on it, feels weird not to.

  3. Any progress is good progress! I have a very busy friend who only writes 100 words per day, but he's doing something, and those 100 words add up very quickly. :)

  4. Fitting fitness in will pay off. Start small, to get stronger and more confident and then add something new to the workout. Even 10 minutes here and there pay off.

    My initial workouts were set up by a trainer at our work gym. We need weight bearing exercises to strengthen bone (like running, walking, weight training-toning level). The cable machines work well for women, too. I'll be here to cheer you on. Good luck with the writing, always.

  5. You are doing it - steady progress, one foot and then the other. Be proud of yourself for ALL that you do :)

  6. That's a great plan! I do one chapter a day, too when I'm revising.:) Good luck!


  7. It's funny, if I'm editing for myself I can get through it pretty confidently and quickly. If I know I'm editing because I'm going to send it to a critique partner, then I end up second guessing everything and taking days to get through it. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Eventually I just hit send and let the chips fall where they may. :)

  8. Good luck with the edits, and I think it is smart to focus on a chapter a day. :)

  9. I need to go make myself a coffee so I can get to some editing.

    I created a schedule for exercise that works for me. Know your strengths and weaknesses and work from there.

  10. I've been doing a chapter per day, too, for my initial round of revisions. With 50,000 words to delete (sigh), I spend about four hours on each one, cutting out anything I possibly can. Sometimes it's been frustrating to take it a chapter at a time, but with only one (plus the epilogue) left to go now, I'm actually really happy with that decision. Better to give our characters the time and diligence they deserve, right?

    All this to say - yes, one chapter at a time, and yes, one day at a time. Together those steps will add up to a great distance. Good luck! :)

  11. Oh my gosh! Your post is a lot like what I scheduled for my ISWG post for tomorrow. Editing again and again. It must be a bug going around. Edits are hard, and will soon come to an end, (until the next book, but that's for later). Keep moving forward, you can do it!

  12. I've not been around much lately. Sorry about that. I like your plan. I think anytime we can have goals, daily, reachable goals, then we can accomplish tons.

  13. I think you can do it. You haven't set up some impossible, fantasy schedule. This is do-able. <- word?