Time management is hard.
I'm an optimist. I'm okay at time management. I have my good days and my bad days. At my day job, time management is easy for me. I'm always on time, always watching the clock, and I know just about how long everything is going to take me. This was not the case with my first book.
At home, I feel like I have more time than I do. Always. Generally, I can get all my errands done, and things like that, but when it comes to anything writing or book related, I have a key piece of advice for my future self, and for others just starting out as well: DOUBLE (or in some cases TRIPLE) ALL YOUR TIMELINES.
My first book took me about a year to write the first draft, working on it on-and-off. I predicted it would take me six months to one year for editing. Looking back, I can't believe how optimistic that was. The reality was that it took about two more years of drafting and editing (again, it was my first book) before I took it to publlication. Even then, there were the typos to weed out still. I read it aloud, I read it to people, I let close friends read it to help with the editing, and still I found more. It's almost impossible to look over 200+ MS Word pages and not find something you want to alter.
Then I decided to take it to print, which I predicted would only take a month. That meant hiring a cover designer to redesign the cover, reformatting the entire book (easy, right?) and working with Createspace to make it happen. I started the process back in november and I'm just about to cross the finish line now. It's already January. It took about three months.
Long story short, that first book took about three times longer than I had originally planned. If you think that book is going to be finished by the new year, plan on it actually being the next. If you think your book cover is going to be done in a few weeks, plan on it taking a month and a half. The reality is that life is busy. You may think you can work your day job, come home, and edit for eight straight hours, but I have found that it's not possible, at least for me. I need sleep. I need food. I need to take breaks, see family and friends, and actually leave my house from time to time.
I'm curious if other writers have this problem. I always feel like editing takes a lot longer than I plan, but not always writing. Writing can be a struggle some days, and other the words just flow like magic. I'm hoping that with every book I write, things will get more concise, editing will take less time, and the process will be overall quicker. Hopefully that's not me being overly optimistic again. I guess only time will tell.
My new years resolution is to have more realistic goals and timelines, and to be more forgiving with myself if things take longer than I thought. I'm hoping that after this first book, I have a better understanding of how much work goes into the whole process, and that will help me acheive this resolution.
Happy New Year and happy writing!