Thursday, June 29, 2017

I'm Not Going to Bed Until I finish writing this book -- and other questionable decisions

I'm really NOT going to bed until I finish writing this draft of my book. I was supposed to finish it yesterday and then today, and I can't put it off for another day. So, somewhere along the line I decided I'd pull an old school all nighter if necessary.

I had a 4pm coffee and some chocolate just now, so I should be good, right? Except I haven't pulled an all nighter in a LONG time. Even when I worked mad hours at the day job, I'd only stay up until 2am or so. Since I've started writing and working for myself, I've been a lot more, shall we say...lax?, about the hours I keep. I work the hours The Boy is in school, but I walk the dogs every day for at least an hour in there and my social media habit is strong!

But it's time to crack down! I have exactly 9 days to get this draft in good enough shape to send to my editor and that means writing the ending sooner than later. From a curiosity perspective, I'm treating this like an experiment. Again, I have only day job experience as reference, but I was capable of PowerPoint and Excel, even at 2am. Am I capable of creativity after being awake for 20 hours? I don't know! I've led myself to believe I'm not. In fact, I seldom write at night, claiming it "doesn't work well for me." But I don't actually know

So, I'm going in. It's 10:20pm where I live and I have at least a chapter and a half to eke out. If I'm going to do the story justice, it's probably more like two and a half. I'm not a fast writer normally, although recent days and deadline pressure have also made me question whether this is another lie I tell myself. I suspect it might be -- just like I suspect there's a whole psychology around why that I'll delve into when I'm not trying to make a deadline.

For now, I'd love to hear your strategies for a) making your deadlines and b) pushing yourself beyond the preconceived notions you have about your capabilities. As for me, I'll be the one over here typing madly. Or falling asleep with my face on the keyboard. I'll let you know how it turns out!


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

So, I'm the same boat. I need to finish my draft before I go on vacation in mid July, so that I can actually enjoy my vacation. But, I'm stuck. So...I'm now very stressed.

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

My strategy is to just sit and do it. Which isn't working since it would've already been done by now.

Carrie Beckort said...

You can be like me - no deadlines! But, yeah, admittedly that doesn't reduce my stress much. I think an all nighter once in a while would be all right, but I've learned over the last year that I don't function well on little sleep. My creativity just gets zapped. Sometimes I get a bit of motivation when I send out my unfinished manuscript to select beta readers/friends. They then push me to get a move on because they want the next chapter.

Brenda St John Brown said...

My strategy was to sit and do it and, although I DID fall asleep on Thursday night, I finished it on Friday afternoon. Settling myself a hard deadline seems to be the only thing that works for me. Otherwise, I'll even resort to cleaning the house!

Brenda St John Brown said...

I used to do this and then my beta readers got super busy with their own stuff, but this is a GREAT motivator!

Jonathan Schramm said...

Awesome! Was hoping for an update post. Nice work, Brenda!

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