Saturday 24th June 2017

Today has been a lot of hard work.  I’ve not even had chance to step outside the house I’ve been that busy.
Days like this aren’t fun.  I mean, don’t think I won’t be grateful down the road for the work I put in today.  It’s an investment in the future.  And it hasn’t been terrible.  But it’s not been fun either.  That’s why the photo for today’s climb had me digging out a silly hat.
It feels a bit like being grounded on a really sunny day, revising for an exam in your favourite subject.
I know I’m going to feel fantastic about this tomorrow as I have made a ton of progress.    Mind you, 15 hours of edits will do that for you.
I’ve been helped in part by the fact that there haven’t been any notes that have been particularly difficult to resolve.  Again, when I’ve come to something I don’t have an immediate answer to, I’ve taken a break and done something else.
That something has mainly been playing some World of Warcraft.  Sitting at the desk all day has made me restless and so outside of one session this afternoon when I was working on something specific, I’ve not had the will to play for long periods of time.
I used to call this my mobeius strip of productivity.  I found something grindy I wanted to do in Warcraft and then paired it with a writing task like editing.  So I’d want to write but I’d procrastinate doing some grinding in Warcraft.  But that would quickly get boring and so I’d jump into the writing as a procrastination exercise away from the grind.  But then, I’d get stuck or lose the will to live, or something, and procrastinate from making progress by jumping back into Warcraft.
Using this method I’ve had days where I’ve made some serious progress in-game and also got about 10,000 words written.
I’ve edited about 50 pages today which I’m happy about.  Plus I did a series of quests to get myself a hidden mount in Warcraft.  This involved travelling around the world, picking up bits of paper from specific locations in a certain order.  Seeing as some of these bits of paper were in the middle of raids, it took a bit longer than I thought.  One of the locations I had to go to was Firelands (which is easy to solo).  I left with a bunch of transmog and as I was deleting soulbound stuff I noticed I got the fire hawk.
I’ve been chasing that mount for years and never got it… and then, when I wasn’t trying to get it, it drops.  So I ended up spending a little longer than I planned playing… but I did get two mounts out of it.
The only downside to all this work is that I will be exhausted tomorrow.  Not a physical tired but a mental exhaustion.
All I can think of everything I’d rather be doing, from going to the gym to mowing the lawn.  I’m starting to get to the stage where my plan is to do nothing after I finish this edit.  It feels like a particularly nice cake you’re going to reward yourself with after hitting your diet goals.  It just seems so far off.
I come to write today’s edition of The Climb and ask myself what I’ve done?  There’s part of me that can’t think of anything, that just wants to write a single sentence that says, “I edited more pages” and leave it at that.
And yet, this is where the real work is being done.  I’m making changes to the manuscript.  I’m asking myself whether I want to keep Mr Munson’s slightly verbally abusive comments in.  I want readers to have sympathy with him, but I also want him to be well-rounded.  I don’t want him to be perfect.  I want to develop the friendship between Henry Howard and Thomas, but which quips are genuinely funny and bring moments of levity… and which bits just detract from the scene.  I want to be ruthless with the text but I want the ultimate decision to be whatever I think it makes the book stronger.
These are critical decisions that I’m actually trying not to think too much about otherwise I’d still be on the first chapter, gripped by fear.  Instead, I’m telling myself that unless I can come up with a very good reason for a highlighted phrase to stay, it gets chopped.
There are 2200 changes I need to go through, 2200 changes I need to amend in Scrivener.  But it goes beyond that.  Some changes mean adjustments to a number of paragraphs, others mean an entire rewrite of a chapter.  And there’s still further work to be done at the end of the novel.
But I’m at page 248 of 723, which is about a third of the way through.  I might feel like I’m the least interesting person right now, but I’m sure I’ll look back at this time and find it one of the most interesting of my life.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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