Four Seasons - Chapters 4-5

I’m late this week with an addition to my work-in-progress, Four Seasons - Fall. Chapter 4 was a complete train wreck, and I went through the various stages of grief: shock, despair, acceptance before re-writing it. Now, I’m at the final stage of grief: acceptance and hope.

But as a bonus there are two new chapters added to the story, instead of the normal ‘single chapter’.

link is:

When I started writing in 2015, I thought I could pump out a few books a year, make decent money doing it, and life would be grand.

(1) I can’t

(2) I didn’t

(3) Life is okay

I’m still learning to write and estimate I’m halfway there. Another few years and I’ll have it all sorted out. Hopefully before I become a senior citizen (or die).

Surprisingly, spending 2020 locked in a house with my wife and 13-year old son was helpful to the process even though I only wrote a few short stories. The noise and distractions of having people constantly around forced me to find new ways to focus.

I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and spend the first 90 minutes each day completely alone writing new material—by hand. It shocked to me to discover that I’m more productive with 'new material’ when I write by hand versus type on the computer.

I’ve adopted a modified version of the Pomodoro Technique to help my productivity. If nothing else, Pomodoro forces me to be aware of how long I’m spending on a single task, and at the end of the time I can see how much time I spent ‘working’ versus ‘thinking about working.’

I still can’t outline or write first entire drafts. At most, I’m never more than a couple of chapters ahead of what ends up being the final product.

I have worked hard to wean myself of the habit of obsessive re-editing. A year ago, it was common for me to spend an entire day editing and re-editing a few hundred words, trying different ways of saying the same thing. Sometimes it paid off, but most of the time it had little impact on the quality of the final product.

Lastly, I’ve stopped comparing myself to writers who are able to publish three books a year, hit all the tickle points, and capture new readers—all while maintaining an active social media presence.

It wasn’t helpful. And it ain’t me.

So, I plod along. But I plod along with renewed focus.