First Drafts: One Bite At a Time
Writing a first draft can be intimidating and overwhelming. Every time I’m about to start a new book, I feel like I’m standing at the bottom of a mountain. It’s a long way to typing “the end,” but as someone wise once said, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
I am a planner and I’ve found that breaking the book down into manageable word count chunks helps motivate me. With The Do-Over, I had just over three months to write the first draft. I’m not a super fast writer, so for me, this was a lofty goal.
I use Pacemaker to break down the word count and to keep me on track. It lets me plan how many words I need to write each day in order to finish the book on time and it adjusts if I write more than I need to on a certain day or if I don’t quite make the required word count. I feel a lot calmer knowing I only have to crank out, say, 750 words a day and if I just stick to the schedule—one bite at a time—I’ll eventually end up with a draft.
Now, revising that draft… that’s a whole other mountain.