First drafts

The Tranquility by Tuesday project featured 9 time management rules. So, unsurprisingly, the Tranquility by Tuesday book is going to feature 9 chapters. I just sent in a draft of chapter 9 to my editor.

That means I am…done for now. A first draft exists. I have not written a conclusion yet, but that will be short, and since it will mostly be based on the 3-month follow up results (which just came in) that can be done along with incorporating my editor’s feedback.

I guess I should celebrate, though honestly it feels a little anti-climactic. I liked reading through the drafts — generally a good sign — and I do think this book will be helpful to people. It’s also going to be roughly a year until it lands on shelves so I need to pace my excitement.

But hey, when first drafts are done, that means something exists. It is much easier to turn something into something better than it is to turn nothing into something. I’m happy to report that the writing timeline I created worked more or less as planned. I would write a few chapters in a row, one each week, then take a week off to edit. Starting with the introduction being due May 28, this meant that I finished chapter 9 this week, as planned, taking off the two weeks I was on vacation this summer. My official manuscript deadline is October 1st, so that gives me another month for edits.

Then I’ll need to spend the next year figuring out how to build the audience for the book. That is an entirely different sort of work, and less my preference than writing, but part of the package. Although I write first for an audience of one (would I like this book?) having an audience of only one would be a bit of a let-down. So, onward! And maybe something bubbly some night this week…


16 thoughts on “First drafts

  1. “It is much easier to turn something into something better than it is to turn nothing into something.”
    I know this, intellectually, but I just had an epiphany about myself lately: after I do the first few “drafts” in any creative project, I stop the hobby. I mean, totally stop. And I keep telling myself it’s because I’m busy and don’t have time (not true), but my epiphany was that I have an immense creative block that I don’t know how to get past, because I don’t understand it. I thought it was specific to writing at first (I started drafting a novel), and thenspent months wondering if the reason I didn’t write anymore was because it wasn’t *actually* something I wanted to do, and maybe I should just let it go. But I keep thinking about the story, longingly….Then I began drawing and water coloring, and after beginning with that, it has also stopped suddenly. That’s when I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t want to write anymore, it’s that I have a major block to anything creative after just dabbling a little. I miss both of these things, but I can’t bring myself to pick them up again! And I seriously don’t know what to do….
    Intellectually, I get that things aren’t that great at first, and they get better with practice…but I can’t get myself to practice!!

    1. @Kenia – interesting! Would it help with the block to commit a very small amount of time to working on the revisions? Like 15 minutes a day, three days per week for three weeks, and just see where you are then? The goal would just be to do something to break through. It won’t be much, but might be enough to change the narrative…

      1. “It won’t be much, but might be enough to change the narrative…”
        I think you hit on a good point there. I should focus on small wins–very tiny aims. I have these grand ideas of what my work should look like, so perfectionism is beginning to look like the culprit….but even sitting down for “just something small” can feel impossible. I think I may have to look for an accountability buddy….

        P.S. – I really look forward to your new book! Your writing has directly impacted my life in positive ways. Thank you. 🙂

  2. I really loved reading all of Lauras books on audible. She has got me to think of my time in a completely new way. I hope there will be something new and refreshing in the upcoming book. Congratulations on completing the first draft.

  3. Congratulations! I was part of your survey group so I’m eager to read the final product. Until then, enjoy celebrating this milestone!

  4. Yay! I enjoyed participating in the survey element of your research on the book. Can’t say I’ve quite reached the “Tranquility” stage yet, but return to your suggestions over and over!

    Can’t wait until this hits shelves!! And also, very impressive you stayed on schedule with summer events, renos, and a toddler. Gold star.

  5. Congratulations! I say the exact same thing: the something from something phase of writing is much easier than the something from nothing phase. Even if I throw most of it out, I’m not starting at nothing again.

  6. It was great being part of the survey because I learned so much and I look forward to reading the final results of this great project.

  7. Congratulations! I’ve reached a few milestones lately that I also felt a bit ‘blah’ about… I expected to feel a great sense of relief and pride at finishing each of the things, and yet all I could focus on was what was next on my task list. I’ve chalked it up to overall fatigue from the past year of covid-related-stressors, but would love to hear about any tips other readers have for celebrating our personal successes (especially when we are a team of 1).

    1. Amy, you are not alone in feeling overall fatigue and stress from the past year and a half. I *highly* suggest giving yourself a lot of space in your schedule (maybe a “sabbath” afternoon/day each week) to unplug, and fill the time with both loved ones as well as solitude (preferably doing non-mental input things: staring at the clouds, going on a nature walk/hike, creating something, building/fixing something, etc.). Not only are both of these things absolutely vital for restoring ourselves after such stressful times, but giving yourself this relaxing time would be a great way to celebrate–you’ve earned it!!

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