Have you recovered from your first day?
I want to keep going, past that first chapter. When it goes well, I want to go with the flow, and “write myself out”. However, I don’t want burn out, so I make myself stop. Usually the most I’ll allow myself in a single day is 5K on one project (unless I’m behind on a deadline).
My goal is to do one chapter per day. It takes me between an hour and a half and two hours to do the pages for the day, so I’m factoring that in to my daily life.
I try to get a bit ahead in the early days to give myself some breathing room.
The point of a first draft is to keep moving forward. Track changes – either in your manuscript in a different color or in notes. That way, you don’t lose ideas, but you keep moving forward.
I catch myself in some of my usual bad first draft habits. I overuse the word “just”. I’m aware of it, but I’m not going to stress about it until the next draft, when out comes the Red Machete. If it’s important to a particular character’s speech pattern, I’ll leave it. Otherwise . . .out it goes. One year, I caught myself using the word “entice” a bit too much – time to get out the thesaurus!
Come Write In! Tuesdays 11-1, Thursdays 2-4, Marstons Mills Public Library, 2160 Main St., Marstons Mills, MA