This weekend, I was making a list of steps I would have to take to finish XIII. The conclusion I came to when I finished writing the list was that I was overwhelmed. I haven’t seriously thought about publication in the longest time, and now that I’ve seriously thought about it and fully thought through all that it entails, I’m kind of stunned. It’s a lot to deal with. Sure, I’ve been writing XIII for what feels like forever, but that’s just the writing part. It’ll have to go through edits and beta reads and criticism and marketing and layout and format and…

So I took a walk and thought about it some more and I realized that the only way I could get over my sense of being overwhelmed was to just take things one day at a time, just like you’d take any other big project. One day at a time, one step at a time, one page at a time, one sentence at a time, one word at a time. I guess that’s the key to keep from being overwhelmed. Breaking everything down into its small steps.

All that being said, my first objective for XIII: finish the final draft. One page, one sentence, one word at a time… then I’ll think of all those other steps.

16 thoughts on “Overwhelmed

  1. Seems like 2013 might be a good year to finish XIII. Is that Roman numeral 13?

    But if not, do what you can do. Go forward, and don’t beat yourself up over it. Like you said, one step at a time.


  2. One scene at a time. Live in each scene, with no regard for what’s behind you or what’s next. Same thing I have to tell myself with my current work, every day. You’ll get it done. Who cares how long it takes? Just a bit more every day until you run out of bits. Simple.


  3. This is great – I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, too, and reading everyone’s comments to you has encouraged me! The world of writers is absolutely fantastic – such an encouraging group of people.


  4. This is exactly the advice I’ve been given to tackle my big project. Small steps everyday certainly make you feel more productive than considering the impossible peak you scare yourself with into inaction.


  5. “one page at a time, one sentence at a time, one word at a time”

    That’s the key. Nobody can actually write any other way, and that’s why it can feel overwhelming to think about all the different things that need doing (both within and outside the book itself). As MichaelEdits said, it will take however long it takes, and there is a particular satisfaction in finishing something that you know is exactly as it should be, no matter how long it took to get there.

    And, once it’s out in the world, readers won’t care how long it took to create, they’ll only care how good it is.


  6. I finished my final draft of my memoirs a week ago and now I’ve handed it over to my editor to proofread and begin the steps to finishing…wow! I feel relief, apprehension, pride and a touch of anxiety. It’s all good though, you are right…one step at a time.


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