Last autumn I wrote a blog post in which I described my plan to finish a draft of my book by the end of 2013. My scheme involved waking up at 4 a.m. several days a week to write for a few hours while the house was dark and quiet. Well friends, I have failed to do that, but in many respects I consider the experiment a success. Furthermore, I learned some things that may be of use to the rest of you. To wit:
- I did not complete a draft of the entire six-chapter book, but I produced a pretty polished draft of chapter 4 and I have something called chapter 5, which is probably better than I would have done without even trying this early morning experiment. So, I would say that I have about 5/6 of the book drafted, and would therefore give myself a B for effort and a B-/C+ for achievement.
- The main reason I didn’t finish all six chapters is that I pooped out after about five weeks of very steady writing and engagement. I caught a cold in early October, went to a conference, and then midterm papers and exams came in. In early November I had a trip out of town, and then it was Thanksgiving and I caught another cold, and that’s where October and November went. And then December, with final exams and papers and grading, not to mention the rest of the holidays and family visiting? You can imagine.
- Biggest lesson learned? The 4 to 6 a.m. writing experiment is a great thing to do for two weeks or a month at a time, but expecting to keep up that schedule amidst the demands of my day job was unrealistic. Continue Reading »