I’m about to embark on an interesting experiment.
Yesterday I received a 200,000 word creative nonfiction manuscript to copy edit. First “real job” I’ve had in a while. It’s going to be interesting, to say the least, how this meshes with my writing.
Notice that my concern is how the work meshes with my writing, not how my writing meshes with my work. Priorities.
The two shouldn’t clash at all, and one shouldn’t create any problems for the other. Well, except that both require time at the computer and feed into the same fatigue pool. But otherwise, no.
Copyediting is a function of the conscious, critical mind, whereas fiction and my other writing is a function of the subconscious.
And my critical mind already reared up once, strongly. One major thought was “Maybe you should take a hiatus from writing fiction until this project is finished.” Seriously?
But I recognized that for what it was, then came here and wrote this.
Back when I was copyediting before (full time), I was also “trying” to write. Hear that? “Also” automatically relegates the writing to second priority, and “trying” is always a function of the conscious mind. Wrong approach for a professional writer, but one I had difficulty breaking out of.
So it’s back to Heinlein’s Rules now as it was then. If it weren’t for Heinlein’s Rules, I wouldn’t have pulled it off back then.
And I wouldn’t have written and published 20 novels, 2 novellas, and over 160 short stories plus nonfiction books in the past two years, not to mention this diary. (You can get a free annotated copy at http://harveystanbrough.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Heinleins-Business-Habits-Annotated.pdf).
So going back to copyediting will be a challenge, but a fun challenge. I think it will help me make writing more of an escape to playtime with my writing. Whatever happens, it should be interesting. And of course, you’ll see the effects here.
My intention is to edit from whenever I get up until around 11. What remains of the day (around noon until 5) I’ll use for my own writing. I’ve been writing more in the afternoon than in the morning anyway. My daily writing goal remains 3,000 words per day of new publishable fiction.
I have a goal on the copyedit too. I want to copyedit at least 35 pages per day. If I reach that, the copyedit will be finished by the end of December.
When I get 35 pages done, I can either keep going and roll-over the excess in the bank, or I can stop and go to playtime for the rest of the day. Either way, every day the goal resets to zero. I’ll post those totals here too, just for fun.
Yesterday I spent three hours running my contextual spell checker on the document. So this morning I started with a clean draft. No need to watch for spelling and wrong-word usages (at least not closely).
* * *
Finished working on the edit for the day at around noon and worked a little formatting the story I finished yesterday. It was about a woman running on a wilderness track.
For some reason, that motivated me to try some situps and pushups. Back in the day I could do 100 of each fairly easily, but that day was a long time ago. I won’t tell you how many I did today, but it released some endorphines or something. So I added a short walk to the mix.
Back by 1 p.m. and looking for a story to write.
Dean’s place, Artistic Choice and The Voice Finals (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/artistic-choice-and-the-voice-finals/) is good.
Well, a nonwriting day as it turned out. I could have written, but no idea grabbed me and took off. Plus I spent a lot of the afternoon slobbering over a 1995 Toyota Tacoma I have my greedy eyes on.
Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 650
Writing of “”
Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXX
Total fiction words for the month……… 18975
Total fiction words for the year………… 698669
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7750
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 265650
Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 964319
Day 1…… 51 pages. Total to date…… 51