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February 2016



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Writing by Hand

Gail's Graph of Authorial Procrastination

Since the moment I learned of NaNoWriMo, I have been unable to participate. I've always had deadlines for other writing that had to take priority, and for years I wrote fiction while working on my PhD and working weekend jobs. I know there are no excuses in the NaNoWri world but there's mine. Nevertheless, I am one of those authors who rather enjoys the furor and excitement of the Great NaNo. I think anything that causes anyone anywhere to be excited about writing is No Bad Thing.

Therefore, I thought those of you who are up against the November deadline might enjoy a reboot of this old post I did on my personal cycle of procrastination, emotional resilience, and production as a writer. It hasn't changed much over the years. Becoming a full timer who writes to eat only seems to cause this Authorbeast to sink further into the pattern.

AKA The histogram of coffee shop visits vs. writing competency

Bellow is a simple graph charting the average author's progress through a book. This, of course, is based on an entirely representative sample of one.
On the Y axis we have: Number of Visits to the Local Coffee Shop
On the X axis we have: Progress of Book Toward Completion described as follows
  • 0-20% complete ~ Thrill of a New Adventure, during which phase your hardy author stays home and is Very Diligent
  • 20-40% complete ~ Nose to the Grindstone, during which phase your terrified author is driven to productivity by the sheer weight of deadline
  • 40-60% complete ~ Struggle With Progress, your long-suffering author has achieve the half way point, only to realize she must write the same amount again
  • 60-80% complete ~ I Suck, Why Bother?, during this phase your depressive author is convinced everything she writes is rubbish, no one will buy the book, the editor will want a massive rewrite, and she should take up manufacturing shoes for earthworms or something equally useful
  • 80-100% complete ~ Victory is Mine, during this phase the light appears at the end of the tunnel, the betas are clamoring for the next book, and your triumphant author has decided once more she is brilliant.
This final state of euphoria will, of course, last exactly as long as it takes for the authorbeast to print out the manuscript and begin her first read through at which juncture, the entire process repeats.

I suppose I'm trying to show that most of us authors face doubts an depression and frustration as we write. That doesn't change. The point is to soldier on. And drink lots of tea!

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date Fall 2013. Writing rough draft. The elephant has exploded. Climatic battle sequence ahead.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Title changed. Copy edits incoming.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Working promo schemes to begin September.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Reviewing chapter by chapter, each drops on YenPlus by subscription. Print release tentatively Dec. 2012.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, Vol. available in print, Vol. 2 by subscription to YenPlus.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Out Feb. 5, 2013

Book News:
LordAkeldamaDragonCon copy
Lord Akeldama Cosplay at DragonCon

Quote of the Day:
"Books support us in our solitude and keep us from being a burden to ourselves."
~ Jeremy Collier

Daisypath Wedding tickers
My darlings please recall, this is my blog and I am goddess of this little corner of the interwebs. You are always welcome to comment, as I am to delete said comments. As my dear mum often murmurers: if you haven't anything nice to say then please don't stay anything at all. Also: Thou shalt not commit Logical Fallacies.


Ahhh, thank you for the words of support! I'm not doing NaNo this year, but it is close to my heart also.
I'm an ML for my region, and armpit deep in Nose to the Grindstone even though I only have 6k right now lol. This is a great chart XD
Good luck!
Thanks :3 I'm catching up slowly! (I was writing in a bar last night and a drunk stranger told me she'd be disappointed in me if I didn't finish lol)
It's great to hear that an actual author (as opposed to people like me who have completed several books during NaNo and a ton of short stories, but nothing serious) does not look down on the craze we NaNoers submit ourself to every year. Thank you for the little boost, I definitely needed it tonight.
(And I decided to complete last year's story this year, which made me start in the middle of the "depression" phase because the story is actually about 70% complete. Is there any other way out that than numerous coffee shop visits because my main characters are annoying me to no end and my style has become kind of shitty lately, argh!)
I am a short story writer by inclination, and your scale is exactly what I go through every. Single. Time. I write a story. I read this to my husband, who agreed heartily as he watches me do it.. I am, in fact, at the 40-60% timeline right now in my current project, and I hate this thing with every fiber of my being. The only thing keeping me going is realizing that I go through this every time and it will get better.
Exactly. Sometimes I think that's the whole point ~ surviving the process. The struggle to produce is the roller coaster ride we put ourselves through each and every time, but if a story comes out the other end? It's worth it.
Hey, that's me with Lord Akelama! How did I miss this? She was one of my favourites of the weekend, obviously, but it's actually Steamcon, not Dragoncon! (She may have been at Dragoncon too, but I was not)