Writing Process Wrap-up: The Weaving


If I did this process consecutively from beginning to end, it would take a few years.  Also, my head would explode from the pressure of working on the same project all the time.  And I would have long gaps where I wouldn’t be productive, because I need breaks to gain perspective.

So I’ll do one step on one book, and then another step on another book while that one is simmering.  I’ll have somewhere between two and ten books in various stages of the queue.  Switching back and forth gives me something to do while I’m waiting (and waiting and waiting).

All this, of course, happens pre-sale.  Every book will go through at least one more round of revisions with an editor, and another few rounds after that for copy edits.

In truth, my favorite thing about having a book in print is that it’s one of the few things I’ve ever written that will never have to go through this process again.  (The other three being the novels I’ve trunked.  That’s not a pretty way for them to leave the process, but sometimes it’s necessary all the same.)

Because I am neurotic, I keep a list of all the projects I have going indexed by what stage they’re at.  There are books that are just ideas, or pieces of ideas.  Others that I’ve outlined.  Some that have been drafted and need revision.  Others that have gone through feedback and need further revision.  That last part is the place where some books seem to get stuck, going round and round and round through feedback and revision, waiting for me to become brilliant enough to get it right.

When I’m working on those projects especially, sometimes I feel like a rat in a wheel, going nowhere.  It’s at those moments that I most need to trust the process; it’s worked for me before, and will work again.  When it comes down to it, my favorite thing about writing books is the challenge.  Just because I’ve done it once, doesn’t mean I’ll ever believe I can do it again.

I just have to keep writing to find out.