Keeping Score: 3 March 2023

Happy Friday! It’s the end of my first full week at the new job. It’s also the first week where I’ve been able to work on the novel every day after work.

Those first few weeks were like resuming an exercise routine in January after taking the holidays off. In a word: rough 😅 Each day was good , mind you — the team I’ve joined is a great one, and the work’s interesting — but being slightly out of practice meant I finished each one ready to sink into my comfy chair and turn my brain off for a good while.

This week I turned the corner. I’ve been finishing out the day with more energy, enough so that I can carve out an hour (or two) after dinner to work on the novel edits. After dinner being the very important thing there; having dinner first (and watching/reading something) gives me some mental space from work, and a physical boost to let me focus on the words without rushing.

As a result, I’m now two-thirds of the way through these edits. The novel’s grown from 79K words to 85K and counting 😳 At this rate, I might end up with less of a 60s-style short novel and more of a regular 21st century tome. Which is great! It’s like I’ve discovered a whole section of my book that was missing, and am gradually adding it back in.

All thanks to the critique group, of course. They’ve been simply incredible with their patience and their feedback, pushing on to keep reading even in the face of missing physical descriptions, missing setting info, even missing scenes!

I hope wherever you are, you’ve found a group of writers to help and support you in your work (and that you support them in turn). It’s a lonely art we practice; fellow travellers are a must 😊

Ron Toland @mindbat