I’ve spent this entire week improving CABIN FEVER based on the first-round edits, comments and suggestions from my editor. I’ve known for some time that I enjoy editing my manuscripts, and this week provided further evidence.
Before receiving the communication from my editor, I had been working on the first draft of my next Seamus McCree novel, producing about 47,500 words. To accomplish that, I set daily goals. Some days the goal was to write at least 1,000 words; other days it was to spend a minimum two hours writing. I’m a pantser, so first drafts come slowly for me—especially the first half of a novel when I spend a lot of time thinking about where the characters want to take the story. As I get closer to the end, my writing quickens because I have a better feel for the characters and plot.
The week before this one I took a short break from writing to participate in a bridge tournament. My plan was to return home late Thursday night. On the way home, I ran over some road debris and got a flat tire. At ten o’clock at night in the sparsely populated area north of Green Bay, Wisconsin there are not a lot of places to get a tire fixed. I chose to stop in the next decent sized town, Crivitz, and spend the night so I could get the tire repaired in the morning rather than try traveling a hundred rainy miles on a donut.
Greeting my delayed arrival home was an email with the editor’s comments on CABIN FEVER. The next day I spent eight hours editing. Each following day, with the exception of the day I had to go into town for various reasons, I spent at least eight hours on the work.
I put off weeding the wildflower garden of maple trees and thistle. I put off exercise. I put off reading. I put off long walks in the woods. I put off writing this blog. I focused on the manuscript until I became physically tired and knew I could no longer give my best efforts. Only then did I move to other activities. Time flew while I was working.
This time flying is a key to finding those things we really enjoy. It’s common wisdom, caught in the expression “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun.” Yet, it is wisdom I often forget, and so I treasure this opportunity to recall it again.
What are the activities that cause you to wonder where the time went?
PS - The illustration is the mock-up of the cover I suggested to the publisher. Let me know what you think of it.