Lessons Learned

Hey I’m over at Chicas today! Stop on by if you can. 

I’m back! Did you miss me? Probably not, eh? 😉

I finished the book finally! It was truly an experience. I started working on it hard and heavy about two weeks ago and wrote a chapter a night for the first half of the book. The second half of the book was just mainly revision but it had some new material added as well. And I cut about 20,000 words! The final count ended up around 65,000.

Lessons Learned
It’s been a total learning experience. I learned a lot about my writing process, especially under pressure. It seems I work better that way. Plus I had some great folks cheering me on – and one in particular that wouldn’t allow me to take the easy way out for my characters. EVER. She was tough but I totally appreciate it and I feel really really good about the book. A lot better than I would have if I had just fixed the glaring errors, thrown it out there and said done.

I learned that even in the darkest hour, there is still hope. I had some hopeless moments, though. Some moments where I just thought I couldn’t do it. But I made myself dig in and keep going, even though I wanted to sit and cry and totally give up. I’m really glad I didn’t.

I learned I can stay up until midnight, get up and go to the Day Job the next day, and then come home and do it all again.

I learned it’s sometimes easier to edit material you already have than to write from scratch.

I learned to always backup your work! Every day! Even if you think is a pain in the ass and not necessary. I had numerous problems with my Word Documents becoming corrupt. Luckily, I had a backup and I had separated each chapter into a seperate file. I am so thankful I had the forethought to backup every night when I finished writing. It totally saved my life on more than one occasion.

I learned you really do need a bulletin board where you can tack up pictures of people and places and things to represent your book. It really DOES work!

I learned never let your characters off the hook so easy. It’s okay if they go to hell and back. As long as they come back.

I learned to never EVER write a story without an outline/plot/structure/synopsis ever again.

I learned it’s vital to have folks who support you even if they just say, “You can do it!”

I hope I come away from this whole experience as a better writer, a stronger writer. A writer who knows that she CAN do it.

I’ve written every single day for the last two weeks and it’s felt delicious. I’ve been doing some hard thinking about my future and my career and I’m getting ready to make some decisions. I’m going to draw up a business plan for myself and set career goals, not necessarily with time limits involved. I’m going to write every day. Yes, every day. And NOT in the blog.

This is the commitment I want to make to myself. And no one can make me do it but me. It’s like making the commitment to exercise – you do it anyway, even if you don’t want to.

I understand that so much better now!

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.