Whew! I’m closing in on the 3/4 mark of a ghostwriting project I’ve been working on for several months. This week I had hoped to have at least drafts of 16 chapters. As it turns out, it’s going to take me into next week, because instead of 16 I’ve now got 19 started. Since the proposal calls for 25 chapters, I’m getting there.
Of course, these are only drafts. The author has seen 12 or 13 of these. Normally I would have shipped more, but between travel and some illness, she hasn’t been available, so I’ve kept writing.
That probably means at least a couple of the chapters will be dropped or radically rewritten, but I’m confident most of what I’ve done will at least serve to get clear on what’s next.
I bogged down completely
But a few moments ago I bogged down completely. When I get punchy I can’t always tell. I hadn’t realized how late in the day it had gotten, but it was past time to put this particular project aside until at least tomorrow. In fact, I’m going to take the day off from this project, maybe even two. Taking breaks is critical to good writing.
There was a time when I tried to push through this sort of mental fatigue, but I learned long ago it’s much more efficient for me to honor it. Often that simply means switching projects. You’re reading the results of such a switch now. When I get back to the book tomorrow or the next day, I’ll be much fresher and my writing will be much better. I might even find that the suspect sentence isn’t so bad after all.
It takes practice to trust yourself to know your own writing rhythm, but it’s worth learning. I’ve come to trust my writing process; not surprising considering how long I’ve been doing it. Write often enough and you’ll discover your own patterns and learn to work within them. You’ll be a better writer because of it.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu