I now wonder if I’ve gone about editing the manuscript of my book the wrong way. I don’t mean the technique that I’ve followed may be wrong—who’s really to say that? I mean I may have been choosing the wrong times of day to work on it. I’ve tried following the routine that I set up for myself a while back, in which I dedicate a certain block of my afternoon each day after work for writing. That proved okay for writing first drafts. However, I’m easily distracted when it comes to editing. As I said before numerous times, I just don’t like that part of the process. As such I can get easily distracted.
Maybe I’m picking the wrong times of day, then, for an activity during which I need to keep focused. I’m tired after work, and have been even more so in the past couple of weeks. I knew that my self-imposed deadline to finish this part of the writing process is coming in a week. The stress of that factored into how little I paid attention to the task when I already tried doing it when stressed out.
Yesterday, I took the manuscript to work so I could work on it during my lunch break. I thought of this idea a while back but for some reason I just remembered to do so yesterday. I found that during my lunchtime (which, during the work week, is nine in the morning) I could more easily focus on what I was doing. I got further in that half hour than I have in any one session so far.
I nearly didn’t work on it today as I forgot the manuscript at work. I normally could drive out there but l really needed to stay at home and rest. I don’t know what I did at work but my entire body has ached for days now and I needed the rest. Besides, it snowed for most of the day today. It felt like it was more worth it to print out new pages for the next few chapters that I had to work on. Then I couldn’t get the printer to work.
Finally, I got the pages. I couldn’t come up with any more excuses to work on the thing. I sat down with several cups of coffee and dark ambient music, and got to work. The result is that I got through nearly four chapters today. The fact that I had more energy kept me on task. Sure, I’m not producing the final draft. But now I finally get the feeling that I’ll be able to go to the next step of the process on time. I really wanted to be able to have the draft done by the end of the month so I can focus on the RPM Challenge. While I work on that I hope that I can get some people to read through what I’ve written. I often look for feedback from people I know and trust. I figured a month could give them a chance to read through at least a good part of it.
So, yes, it’s important to be in the right state of mind to work. I have to wonder now if I wouldn’t have been more productive if I just stuck to editing on the weekends. I’ll get to work on more tomorrow and maybe relegate my “writing time” throughout the next week to my lunch breaks. Maybe I’ll even get to typing up the changes by the end of the month after all, contrary to what I said before. That is, of course, if I remember to take my manuscript home with me from now on.