Monday, August 20, 2012

Fifty-Four Hours

The other day I took another look at my ridiculously detailed pre-revision plan-- which I had figured would take me 8 weeks to complete-- and tried to work out how many hours of work it really is. One thing I appreciate about The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel is that he gives you an exercise to do, and then tells you how long to spend on it. If you have any tendency toward perfectionism, it is incredibly helpful to be told: "Do the best you can in thirty minutes".

So I eyeballed each step of the plan and guessed how long it should take. I was generous with the time allotments, and kept reminding myself that this is only an estimate. In the end, it all added up to 54 hours. Once The Son starts school, I should be able to do 15 hours a week. So that's less than a month!

Like a lot of lazy people, I tend to grossly overestimate how long tasks will take, then become overwhelmed by how hard everything is, and then procrastinate in order to avoid the monumental amount of effort and time involved in, say, cleaning out my car, or paying bills, or revising a novel.

54 hours of thinking, planning, writing, and making lists and grids. I can do that.


  1. Is that when I can read it? I WILL BLOCK OFF THE TIME.

  2. Oh good lord no. 54 hours is how long it's going to take me to be ready to START actually rewriting! And then I'm writing my 7-8 key scenes, so the rewrite doesn't even start out in order. Sorry to torture you. But you can read the first chapter the second I'm done with it, which should be like early October.