You know, nothing has taught me so much about me as a writer as signing that publishing contract.
I know, weird, eh?
I mean, I’m a writer pure and simple, so publishing shouldn’t really have an influence on me being one. Yet it does, I think in a good way.
See, when I signed the contract, I created an obligation towards my publishing house, which means that the book I promised them has to be a priority for me in ways none of my other books are.
Which means that if they need that book to be revised during NaNo, that book has to be revised. No buts, ifs, or whys. And that’s where I’m learning now.
Before, I could say that I couldn’t combine drafting with editing, because it takes time for my mind to switch gears. True as it is, I couldn’t just say that in November. I had to get some drafting done because I’m trying to create a “production line” of sorts, and I don’t think I’ll get another chance to draft before February/March next year. December’s for editing Birds vs. Bastards.
So that made complete sense until my editor let me know that I needed to get my book in by end November. With saying no and not drafting both not being options, I said yes and found a way to make it work.
Turns out that once you’re writing fit (as I am nowadays), switching gears really isn’t that hard. So I did those revisions in about two weeks and got right back to drafting, and I even won NaNo.
If I hadn’t had the book under contract, I would never even have tried to work like that. To me, thou shalt not edit and draft at the same time was one big rule to my writing method. Being under contract pushed me beyond my self-imposed comfort zone, into a place where I can be even more efficient as a writer.
Which is great really, since it makes my five year goal that much more achievable.
So today I want to say: Don’t get stuck in a comfort zone. Find ways to push yourself gently, but firmly into places where you can grow as a writer. Even if it means writing something you’d never thought you’d write. Or changing up when or how you write. Sometimes those changes might be exactly what you need to get to the next level.
Have you pushed yourself as a writer lately? What did you do and how did it turn out?