Weekly update: knowing you don’t have perspective, and being okay with it

Hello, friends and the occasional relative! Six weeks in a row. The streak will be busted sooner or later, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

This has been a good weekend. I wrote not one, not two, but three chapters! 87.87% of the way through this edited-as-I-go draft. Still no progress bar.

I am so far into the process of writing that I genuinely have no idea about its overall quality. I’m just doing it, and enthralled by each passage as it is produced. I think each section is solid (not going to get too exuberant about them, haha!), but how it will all hang together eludes me for now. It could be good, great, or excremental. I can’t tell, my nose is too close to the grindstone to have any perspective. Makes it kind of exciting for me, even as I’m writing it, because I know there is a process of discovery still to be had, after I put the words together.

It does make me grateful for the Really Detailed Plan™, because my earlier, cooler and more calculated self laid out the framework for the current frenetically writing and being in the moment version of me to follow, and that gives me confidence to trust myself as I go for it in each chapter I write. I can have that confidence it will work, because I puzzled out how everything would fit together in advance.

Of course in the writing so many more details come out, granular details that you only see when your nose is right up against that grindstone. The deviations I have made in the moment I think will add depth, improve character, heighten tension. I’m hoping I’m right, but the good thing is I have my RDP™ to gauge everything against when I do pull back to look at the book as a whole. Once this is finished, a short break will be had to gain the necessary distance before review.

(I have heard folk say you should leave your manuscript for 6 months before going back to it, and I can see the mental virtue in that, but I don’t have that in me right now—I want to write, publish, move on. If I could somehow write story A, leave that project to rest while writing story B, finish it, then go back to A for review, I think that might be optimal, unless of course I lost my passion or interest in A while writing B and so while gaining perspective on A, I also lose engagement with the process of improving it. There’s a tricky balancing act to be had there, and I’d be interested to learn how writers who manage that kind of schedule deal with the juggling of creative attention to different pieces of work.)

All in all, very interesting. This is a new experience for me, and so far, I am loving it. There may be tears and recriminations later, but that’s for later. Right now, this is the purest writing pleasure I have had in years. I won’t be surprised if the whole thing comes out flawed, but that is because I’m a natural pessimist, and this book—its construction, and its content—is a conscious experiment, and not all experiments are successful. The hope is that from any experiment, we can learn, and I feel strongly I already have, so: victory, hahaha! Of course producing something of quality is also the ultimate goal—but that will be for others to decide, once I let go of it, which will only happen after I’ve decided it is fit for public consumption. So by that stage it will not be excremental, in my opinion at least!

Anyway, this is the week that was. Next weekend will likely be less productive, because stuff and things, but I’m now four chapters from completion, and I feel fine. 


2 thoughts on “Weekly update: knowing you don’t have perspective, and being okay with it

  1. Jason

    Hilarious since I just bothered to comment on the last update.

    I’m hoping more friends and pseudo-relatives might come in to give support.

    Roddy, this is the best, most positive evolution I’ve seen in you. Grant it, it’s really the first in-depth.

    I’ve known you from your writing since before the books and you, (like me… so it doesn’t come off too negative, but still negative) are way too anal about writing. Not like there’s anything wrong, necessarily, with that.

    But in your case, it’s really negative for you (know you said your bday at some point. So this whole process is really great. You’re working through those demons and I’m rooting for you.

    No book you ever write will be finished. We (FatoR, which btw, I thought should be FatOR… and if that doesn’t f with your head, you’re on the right path) are just happy to see the progress. We want you to be healthy and, personally, I like what I’m seeing because it translates to progress on what I0’m looking forward to reading.

    To FatOR…. I kind of, sort of, told Roddy I that think there should be some more interaction here. I’m almost as wordy as him… but please just throw out a “thumbs up” or whatever.

    Show some support! It matters.

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