It’s been an interesting week all in all. After last weeks post I reflected on why I seem to be so productive especially considering that I don’t sit at my desk for huge swathes of time working and I think that is part of the reason why. I don’t sit working for huge amounts of time. When I used to try this I would become distracted and move onto the internet and social media and end up not working at all. In limiting my time every time I sit down to write I know I only have fifteen or thirty minutes to get work done so I better get on with it and I do just that. I focus because the clock is ticking, literally ticking down because I have a timer with an alarm which tells me time is up and I am strict about moving away from my desk when the alarm goes off even if I am engrossed. It just means I know what I’m doing when I sit back down again. And in only sitting down for such short periods of time I am able to do several of these in the day and they add up. My word count adds up or my editing time adds up. I’m productive and I enjoy what I do. If you have trouble focusing when you work or you yourself suffer with chronic illness I’d give this method a try and see if it works for you. Do let me know if you do.
I posted the last post last Wednesday, by Thursday I was starting to feel fatigued. Fatigue isn’t just where you feel a little tired or even where you feel absolutely worn out, it is a full body and mind experience. Even reading a book with my eyes is too exhausting. I have to use an audiobook to make it easier. This is not a good state to be in when I need to work. I need to use huge amounts of willpower to push myself to my desk just for a fifteen-minute session and I do fewer sessions throughout the day. Maybe only fitting in two sessions. For me though, that’s still about 1,000 words written so it’s not too shabby. I tend to find this time of year harder to move through but keeping busy, ironically, does help me get through it. The creativity brings me so much joy it goes into combat against the huge lethargy that overtakes me. So the new first book in the new series is progressing. I’ve just passed the 10,000-word mark.
Late in the day on Thursday I received my editorial feedback on Kill For Me, Hannah Robbins 5. This is always a nervous time – when you see the email from your editor in amongst your other emails and you want to open it and dread it all at the same time. Did she like it? did she hate it? Is there so much work to do I’m going to be overwhelmed? Am I the worst writer ever?
Well, I opened the email and was thrilled to see she really liked Kill For Me and thinks it’s my best one yet. Yes, there is work to do. She’s an editor and I’m not a perfect writer, but the story as a whole is workable. The fixes I need to do will not take too much work. The manuscript is not going to need to be torn apart and put back together again. I need to write a couple of extra chapters and fix a few plot holes but it’s really not in bad shape. To be honest, I was a little worried about this one as it is a little different to the previous books in how I’ve laid it out. But my editor says it works and that’s good enough for me. The relationship you have with your editor is an important one. They have to be able to tell you that there are problems within this manuscript you have sent them, this manuscript that you very probably love with all your heart, even if you are sick of the sight of it by the time you send it to them. So there has to be trust there. Trust that they will be honest but kind and trust that you will accept their feedback in the manner it was sent – to help you, to improve the book and to make it the best book it can be. It is not sent to hurt you. Of course, you can cry into your tea for an hour when you get your first feedback. But what you can not do is reply to your editor while you are crying. You wait until you have had time to digest their thoughts and until you are in a better place until you know their words are only there to help you. And then you can reply and thank them for their help.
So, the week ahead for me will involve doing the edits on Kill For Me and also trying to progress the first in the new series book and also trying to keep my head above water as this fatigue fights for supremacy.
Let me know how your week has been, I’d love to know.