The novel writing process made me learn about more than shelling-out thousands of words each day for a draft. I learned about how my mind works through that writing process, and how it probably differs from how other people navigate that process. I recognized this, and I feel compelled to share something about myself that must be adjusted for all future writing projects, especially the lengthy ones.
The difference between my ninth draft and my eleventh was obvious to me. The language was tighter, causing the words convey the message without excess. However, my eleventh draft took place after sending my manuscript to an editor. Whoopsie. This could have been avoided if I did #2, first.
This step will make the last two drafts solid. There was a significant difference in my mindset if I separated from this writing project physically (i.e. got out of the house and away from my laptop), and for a while (i.e. a minimum of 1 week). I didn’t understand the value in this until my final draft when it’s a practice I should have put into place before that. It recalibrated my mind so I could be the fresh eyes I needed for my own project. In the end, it would have saved me a lot of time.
As I continue to write the second novel of the series, along with a short story project, I’m keeping these two practices in mind. I scrambled to get the first book done, partially because I was over excited and partially due to damage control. Both circumstances together added up to relief at the end of the process instead of joy. Now I know better, and hopefully, you can benefit from my experience so you can avoid this pitfall.