Two of Forty-Eight Hundred (a rough guesstimate)

What’s your second edit look like? For some reason, I was thinking I’d been all brilliant with this latest project, that my editing would go faster and smoother than the last book because I’d nailed it the first time through. Yeah, well, let’s just say I overestimated my brilliance by just a micrometer. A micrometer to the eleventy-billionth degree.

Sure, I got the basic story going, but I’m rewriting whole chapters into intelligible language, rather than basic phrases that might be understood on a certain dosage of hallucinogenics laced with droplets of my blood. Needless-to-say, editing is not going to be a quick once over.

How could I possibly think it would be easy? Mostly, I think it was just over-eagerness, or simple optimism. I’m way behind on my deadline, so I convinced myself it was fine because the edits would be smooth and I’d be able to catch up some time. Riiiight. Maybe for my next book I can just think really hard at a blank page and the story will fall right out all neat and clean and full of genius. I won’t even bother crossing my fingers…

We have to put in the work. Every time. Every time this is the process. Every time it comes in stages, slowly sculpting it out to its best form. Rushing is a mistake I’ve made, and I won’t again. Sure, some people will be disappointed to have to wait longer, but they’d be more disappointed to get a rushed piece of work. Still, I need to focus and get the work done, regardless of where I’m at with it.

I hope all your projects are moving forward, regardless of the pace that happens.

One Becomes Two Becomes Eleventy-Billion

I started a task list. Another one, if we’re being honest, but this one was meant to be more detail-oriented; to help break items down into smaller parts. The task list that might actually facilitate progress and completeness.

I didn’t even realize all the things stacking up. Talk about overwhelming. One item became two became four became eleventy-billion.

So, it was serendipitous this popped up:

(An article from Weight Watchers)

3 Reasons to take a mental health day

Taking a day off to ease your mind isn’t irresponsible—it’s a necessary part of staying healthy.

Everyone agrees that you should stay home when you’re not feeling well. (In fact, your co-workers will probably appreciate it.) But what about when you’re not feeling mentally well? Here are our tips to taking a day off for literal peace of mind.

1. Take (the right) time off.
The goal of taking a mental health day is to lower your stress levels and come back to work (or school or even parenting) feeling stronger and healthier. Think about why you need this break—if it’s because you’re trying to avoid your boss, you might want to think of another way to cope. On the other hand, if you’re feeling totally burnt out and distracted, then taking a day to clear your mind could be exactly what your body needs.

2. Be productive.
What do you need? If it’s catching up on sleep, do it. If it’s a massage or yoga, prioritize that instead.

It’s also fine to take this time to tackle the nagging tasks on your to-do list. If your finances are stressing you out, try making a budget; if your house is a mess, carve out a few hours to clean the bathroom and do laundry. It’ll all make you feel better.

3. Don’t overload yourself.
Taking a mental health day should help you solve a problem, not add to your guilt and anxiety. Don’t pack on the pressure to get an absurd amount of chores done. Just prioritize a few things and try to enjoy the time away.

This caveat of not feeling guilty about taking a “day off” is big. That’s often my problem. Doing this instead of this adds more stress because I don’t trust my decision. Relaxing rather than getting something done makes the relaxing worthless.

This week, a book I’ve waited to release drops. I’m taking an entire day to concentrate on reading it (that’s how I read. All at once 🤣) By scheduling it, I hope to avoid any thoughts that I should be doing something else, or even that I haven’t earned this down time.

I’m not sure just writing a to-do list warrents a mental health day. Maybe I should check a few things off the list first. Still, being aware, knowing taking a step back is actually good for productivity, is helpful.

What do you think about mental health days?

Hell is Figuring Out Chapter One

How Should it Begin

Beginning’s are everything. Sometimes all we have is a sentence to capture a reader. I get it. There are so many books to read, how do we decide which ones are worth our time? The reader need to know their time won’t be wasted…

Five days from my deadline, I’m still working the first ten pages. This isn’t a deadline, like “oh- just give me another day and we’ll squeeze the timeline to make it work.” No. This is a hard “there is no more updates allowed” deadline set by Amazon. Yesterday, I was finished and this wasn’t a problem. Today, I’m freaking out.

See, I had cut these pages.

Since draft one, I’d struggled with the opening of Stumbling. Unable to find a solution (at the time), I scrapped it to start in the middle of the opening sequence. Jumping right into action is always fun, right?

This Really Isn’t Working Out

Then, I was getting feedback of confusion.

So, I put the beginning back in. It made sense to do this. I understood the complaint. After reading my own book eleventy-billion times, I couldn’t recognize there were details the reader needed to have taken away in these deleted pages.

But, these pages hadn’t been polished like the others and it showed. I think I went through twelve edits before I handed the book off to an editor to look at. Twelve edits these first pages were ignored.

Does this look like an edit-free proof?

So, these ten pages were not as ready as the rest. These ten pages were making me re-think this whole idea to let the world have access to my work. These ten pages were making me second-guess if I really was ready… even though I’d already committed to being ready.

Did I mention I was freaking out?

Rinse, repeat then again… and again

I still worry about those first sentences, even after having hit publish. But, this is a process of learning and growing and I know that putting my work out there can only help this process.

Thanks for reading!

  • What’s the best opening line of book like to you? Quote it in the comments 🙂