3 reasons why this stack of paper grows so slowly

Almost 4 months ago, I posted to this blog about the ever-so-slow progress of my novel. At that stage, I had completed the first two chapters.

Manuscript so far

posing little danger to rainforests thus far

Today I finished the umpteenth draft of Chapter 3 and here you see the printed manuscript thus far – a pathetic stack of paper which is all I have to show for my efforts over the past 12 months or so – a Prologue and three Chapters, amounting to just over 17,000 words on 68 pages.

And this is just the first proper draft!

Why is it taking so long for this stack of paper to grow to its intended height of approximately 300 pages?

Reason 1: I am slack.

Writing – sustained, regular, consistent writing – is much harder work than I realised. I have discovered that it requires what I call the 3Ds: discipline, determination and sheer doggedness. (OK, ‘determination’ and ‘doggedness’ are almost the same thing; but I like to get things in 3s). I suppose I average about 30 minutes a day working on the book. Apparently, I lack a sufficient supply of the Ds to keep at it any more solidly than that.

Reason 2: I constantly fear that what I am writing is ‘crap’.

This tends to put a bit of a crimp in the old motivation. I admit I lack the bullet-proof self-belief of, say Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott. That is how I know I will never be Prime Minister. But, will I ever be a novelist? Still, as Andy Ihnatko says, “Remember: perhaps the only reason that someone else’s crappy novel has been published and yours hasn’t is that THAT OTHER PERSON HAS FINISHED THEIR NOVEL AND YOU HAVEN’T!”

Reason 3: I am an obsessive proof-reader

Honestly, to complete a chapter to ‘draft’ stage; I find myself worrying it and nibbling at it and shifting paragraphs around and re-writing sections and substituting better words, etc, so obsessively that the ‘draft’ chapters you see are really in fact the 40th drafts!

Anyway, I am pleased that the little stack is as high as it is, and will now take a break before taking a deep breath and tackling Chapter 4.


~ by Garry on July 6, 2013.

2 Responses to “3 reasons why this stack of paper grows so slowly”

  1. Dear Garry

    I love you for the way you are so honest with yourself and don’t mind the whole world knowing. Most people find excuses for their self-perceived shortcomings – no time, lost motivation and the alltime classic – the weather! You will get there.



  2. I’m impressed by that stack of paper! I think you’re making great progress. Good on you!

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