A peek behind the curtain of my creative process as I conceive, research, write, edit, and publish a book. Today I'm outlining my next book, Embodying Earth in Scrivener and appreciating the value of "fresh eyes" in the finishing phase of a project.
P.S. The video gets blobby at the start but clears up quickly.
P.P.S. Dang! Then the picture freezes for a few seconds later on. Sorry, Lovelies!
P.P.P.S. Oh, bloody hell, the vocals are out of sync after the freeze. It's distracting and makes me chuckle. I am leaving the video up because this series is about showing you ALL the parts of my creative process, not only the pretty and elegantly crafted things. There's a full transcript of the episode, below.
Morning everyone. Hope you had a lovely sleep. I think I'm still kind of asleep, but coffee will fix that. Thanks for coming back in. I've tried to make some notes so that there's a bit of structure to these episodes and I'm not just rambling, because I can well ramble and as long as there's somebody to talk to I'll just keep chatting. I'm a bit like that.
So, I thought I'd do a bit of an emotional check-in. And, I'm really centred today. I had a good day at work yesterday and so I'm feeling satisfied and there were a few things that I really moved ahead with the outline for my new book, Embodying Earth. In fact, why I don't just tell you what I did yesterday, and you can see how much is involved in writing a novel.
Because, when somebody says, "I'm writing a book," or "I'm a writer," or "I'm an author," I think that people tend to get a particular idea in their heads about what that looks like. And, in reality, it rarely looks like the picture that people form. It doesn't look like the picture I used to form in my head when I imagined an author.
So yesterday, here's what I did: I did the live stream and uploaded it to YouTube and created the thumbnails and the graphics to go along with that, to go onto Facebook ... and YouTube ... I'm not happy with the Facebook ones, yet. And then, I went to work on my novel. So, this is the writing part. I chose the music I wanted to listen to on Spotify; I did a tarot meditation in preparation, to centre myself (I'll talk more about that some other time, about why I use tarot cards to meditate on). And then, I updated my publication schedule.
Now, I do a fairly complicated schedule in Excel because I'm good at building spreadsheets, I have history with that (which I will share with you in a future episode) as a Financial Controller and Project Manager. So, I'm very good at building spreadsheets and reports and analysing data, like that. And so, I have a fairly complicated schedule and I updated that and discovered that I have less days in my drafting phase for my new book than I thought, because I've been completely ignoring my schedule.
That's dangerous. Don't every ignore your schedule, people.
I get revved up when I realise that I've got a deadline. It gives me the structure I need to get my bum in the chair and get the work done. Aha! Here's a thing that's really important: "Social media notifications ignored." You know the popups on your screen? And you think, "Oh, I'll just check that out." I ignored them. So, I know that I'm really excited about the project I'm working on when I can ignore the popups and just get on with my work; and, ignore the distraction.
And so, then I went into Scrivener, which is the program that I use to do my drafting, my outlining and my drafting in, and began to construct the proper bones for my outline for Embodying Earth.
If anybody's interested, shoot me a message and I can go into more depth about how I use Scrivener, and how I outline, even. But for now, what I did was go through the chapters and pull out sections and start taking notes, like I mentioned yesterday, on the magic and the things that I want to expand. Did some word counts and set some targets so that I know [video freezes for 10 seconds] ... so I'll just keep going with that today.
[Sound now out of sync with picture]
I'll be outlining more today. And so, hopefully, by the end of next week I'll have a really really meaty outline with lots of notes that I can then go in and start writing the book properly. So, that's what's going on with my new book.
I also discovered some new errors in the paperback as I was going through and taking notes. It's really important to give yourself time to go through the whole process without rushing. So, it's really exciting: you finish your draft, you finish your edits, you've go a complete manuscript, it's all formatted and gorgeous. And, you want to hit publish. And, I did. I published the eBook pretty much straight away, but that's a different format.
And so, now I'm going through the paperback and there are different elements that you have to check. And, the thing I discovered the error in was the headers. I'm a formatter, I'm a desktop publisher of old, this is something that I know how to do, and I totally missed these glaring errors in the paperback! And, that's because when you look at something over and over and over again you just start filling in the holes, and painting over mistakes because you know what it's supposed to look like. That's what it's like when ... That's why people say, "Set your manuscript aside when you finish your draft and come back to it with fresh eyes." And, that's really important.
I didn't give it the weight that I probably should have, and I don't think that new writers do give it the weight that it deserves. Giving yourself space, time away from your words, to come back and read it again will give you so much more insight and will be so much more valuable than if you just continue with edit after edit after round after round. You'll end up with a much better end product.
So, that's my advice for you today and I've gone way over time, so I'm going to stop and eat my peanut butter toast, and start working. I did say that I was going to talk to you about my history as a Healer and a Teacher, I'll do that next week. Because, I don't want these to get too long and I think I've been rambling a little bit this morning. So, I'll try and reign it in next time; I'm learning as I go, and I really thank you for joining in.
Send me a message. I'll talk to you soon. Bye!
What's it all about?
This series of videos creates an accountability framework for me and shows you my creative process as I conceive, research, write, edit, and publish a book.