Creating a writing timeline

Today is one of those rare days where I have finished work early. The winter sky is still bright but gloomy, there’s a cup of hot drink in my hand and I have about 6 hours left of the day.

I’ve decided to draw up a schedule for the second draft of my book. I know that when I have no pressure and deadline for a project, I could work on it for hours and hours without progressing anywhere.

When I wrote the first draft for this soon-to-be book, I was able to finish it in eight weeks, because I told myself I was going to enter it into a writing competition, which I did.

Now that I have no looming deadline in place, my writing has slowed down. There is less of a frantic rush towards the finish line and when it comes to contemplating whether to watch TV or write, TV always wins.

I got a little kick in the butt over the weekend for my complacency when I realised that someone important to me didn’t believe that I could finish writing a book. It brought me back to those old days when I was called out for being naive and dumb for no particular reason. Not a pleasant feeling.

Anyway, I don’t like dwelling over unproductive thoughts like those, so the only thing I can do is put my head down and keep at it.

What I’ve learnt from writing the first draft is it’s important to map out the key stages in the writing process and set a deadline for each stage. That way I know what I am working towards and can see if I am making any progress.

Here is a rough outline of my writing schedule for the second draft of my soon-to-be book.

Writing timeline for second draft (Rough draft)

  • Complete rewritten outline: July 15
  • Complete ending: July 30
  • Complete events leading up to ending: August 15
  • Complete climax: August 30
  • Complete hook: September 15

Within each of these stages, there are roughly 3 chapters that I need to rewrite, (so twelve chapters in total). I’m currently plotting them out in a calendar, so will have that ready by tomorrow.

Post-traumatic work disorder

First day back at work and I’ve already got post-traumatic work disorder. Can anybody relate?

Today. YES. Today I went back to work.

I’m still wearing the shades I wore to my Tree Adventure escapade. My abs are still raw from climbing 14 meters above ground. I still look red frolicking under the sun, and despite all that, I yanked myself out of bed today and closed the door to my faraway holiday.

After a few years of work, I’ve gotten so traumatised from waking up early in the morning, stressing out about traffic, trying to find a carpark, getting my windows smashed, and sitting at a desk for eight hours straight.

That’s my montage for the week, the month, the year.

Only the newbies just starting out get excited about the money, the office culture, the perks, and the title of having a job, while I just wanna sleep.

I used to be a newbie, but now I’m an oldie.

Gone are the days when I used to go running at 5pm. Poof! Gone are the late nights and easy early mornings. Poof! Poof! Poof!

So I’m protesting office culture.

I’m protesting the 40 hour work week that Henry Ford created, and I say we have a four hour work week.

Bring back the golden era of work-life balance that existed before I was born.

But what have I got to accomplish from all of this misery and complaining?

Absolutely nothing at all. So head down I go, taking my blues with me and turning it into something productive: novel writing.

One positive thing has come out of this day:

Facebook predicted that I would finally find my dream job this year.

I pray to the stars to send me the energy I so desperately need, so that I can work hard and become the author I dream to be.

I have high hopes for this Facebook prediction. It predicted that my friend would win lotto, and he did.

What are the chances?