I’ve been focusing on editing the first draft of my book. It’s detailed, painstaking work that can’t be rushed. I tried rushing at one point, and like the novice speed reader, accomplished the task and achieved little.
I resigned myself to putting in the hours and slowly made progress. However, no matter how optimistic I am, finishing 8 questions out of 55 still left 43 questions unfinished at the end of last week. I told a friend that I was getting concerned about the time it would take until I could send an excerpt of my book to some esteemed colleagues for feedback (my next step). He pointed out that since I was only sending the introduction and 6 sample questions, I could send it off before editing the rest. Why didn’t I think of that?
The clouds parted and I could see sunlight. I had a short-term goal and all I needed was a deadline. Due dates that are close enough to touch always have been the most motivating for me, so I picked the following Friday — today!
Once I had set my deadline I accomplished the following:
- Broke down the work into a plan
- Defined the feedback I was looking for – reader versus editor based
- Created a prototype review package including instructions, content and feedback questions
- Selected the six questions for review that are representative of the entire book
- Tested the logic of my selections with a friend and advisor
- Edited the introduction and sample questions
- Chewed many packs of Trident gum