I read in the elevator this morning that people are most productive when they adopt a “work-rest” strategy. I don’t know if that means, “Take a 10 minute nap under your desk every three hours”, or, like, make sure to sleep at night (in that case, I’m nailing it), but I just sent in my final draft of Tether so I’m going to hit the hay hard tonight. Probably sometime around 7 PM.
Chris Adrian, The Great Night (via offtherails)
YET being the operative word. I guess The Great Night must take place before The Children’s Hospital because Jordan Sassock is in it.
Yesterday, I turned in my newest draft of Tether (Many-Worlds Book 2) to my editor. Not momentous for, like, anyone else on the planet, but in my head I’m basically turning cartwheels because OMG IT WAS SO HARD.
So I’m reading a lot of books about competitive swimming right now (Swimming Studies, this Amanda Beard memoir, this Natalie Coughlin biography) and in one of them (can’t remember which) there was a quote from a different swimmer that (I’m paraphrasing) said something like, “I have to teach myself how to swim every day.” That was my literal experience this summer/fall—I had to teach myself how to write every day. And it was really challenging.
I had to throw away almost everything I knew about how Tether was structured and written and plotted, look at all the elements I had at my disposal and figure out how they could best be rearranged/reallocated/recycled. Then I had to re-learn how to like my characters, which was probably the hardest part. Then I had to write a lot of really flat, crappy, boring stuff just to get moving, so I didn’t sit there overthinking and second-guessing myself and freeze up.
The process of doing this surprised even me, because in late July I wrote my agent an email saying, “I can’t do this, I’ve hit a wall, I’m lost” and it’s November 5 and I have a full manuscript that I really like and am proud of. I keep thinking about what the turning point was and not being able to pin-point it, because there was certainly never a moment when I thought, “I can do this, I’ve had a breakthrough.” Sometimes, that doesn’t happen. But I did it. So I guess we’ll see.