This morning I completed the ninth draft chapter of my book, on the topic of consumer health technology. I’ve now written 55,000 words, so I’m roughly 3/4 of the way there.
I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made since my previous Writer’s Log at the end of June. My goal at that point was to write two chapters in July, then another two in August. I’ve achieved that and what’s more, I finally settled into a daily writing routine that suits me. Basically, I set myself a word count goal for every working day in July and August. I even mapped this out on the Google Spreadsheet I’ve been using to track my progress. I was also more strict on myself in terms of when I wrote. I had a set time each morning, sitting in front of my computer writing. All social media turned off and no peeking at emails. This focused daily routine has done wonders for me, as a newbie author. As well as being very productive in writing output, it also made my afternoons more relaxed. Since I’d done my daily word quota by lunchtime, it freed me up to do other things in the afternoon. Typically I’d do further research or reading, tend to other business, or get out and about (as in outside, a foreign concept in my blinkered blogging days).
As each month goes by, I feel like I’ve become more and more of a book writer. I don’t claim that I’m an “author” yet, since I haven’t been published. But I’m very much enjoying the process of writing a book. It took me a good 6-9 months to adjust to the needs of long-form writing, as opposed to the blog posts I used to write. Last December, I tweeted:
“Writing a book feels like putting a large jigsaw together. Whereas blogging felt like building an airplane while flying it.”
That still feels like the case. Only now I can see about 75% of the jigsaw. One of New Zealand’s most famous authors, Janet Frame, put the art of writing a book this way: “the whole of writing is expressing an emerging pattern and shape.” That sums it up beautifully.
I’m about to go on a trip, to the U.K. and Ireland. When I get back, I’ll have another few draft chapters to write. An even bigger challenge will be the re-writing and editing process. I’m aiming to have the final draft done by end of 2013, so that’s my next big milestone goal.