I'm reluctant to pass myself off as some kind of authority on writing, because I still have a lot to learn, but from time to time I'm asked a question that I can answer with some degree of confidence.
That happened earlier today, and (as you'll see at the end of this post) I thought it may be worth sharing here.
On Aug 28, 2008, at 12:52 PM, [redacted] wrote:
When you're writing something that's not for a blog, like a book or script, something that has to remain a secret until it's published, do you just go bonkers?
Yes. Yes I do. It's really hard, because as a blogger you're used to instant feedback to keep you going, but when you're working on something that can't be shared or released the same way blog posts are, you can lose your way and lose your confidence.
I've found a couple ways to help overcome this:
1. Blog less. It's incredibly hard to blog and write a book at the same time, because you're using different muscles. Think of it like trying to run the 100 meter dash and do a marathon at the same time.
2. Make a deadline for yourself, then work backwards to have milestones every day or week, whichever works better for you.
3. Give yourself little rewards when you make a big milestone (5K words, 10K words, 20K words, first draft completed, etc.)
4. Don't show your work to anyone until the first draft is done. Don't even excerpt little bits and put them on your blog. I put about 30 words from House of Cards online, and I lost all of my momentum as a result. I'm not sure why this happens, but it really sucks when it does.
5. Find an editor who you trust to work with you. Good editors do more than just edit the draft you give them, and I know this because I have a great editor.
You know, this may be useful to other people. I'm going to anonymize the line I quoted from you, and post this on my blog. I'm sure readers will have other bits of advice and experience to share in comments.
This isn't anything more than common sense, I guess, and it's not even that original (the post I linked to day before yesterday about blogging vs. writing a book covers most of this in much greater detail than I did) but I hope it's helpful anyway.