What I learned from writing a book in a day

It is 34 days since I wrote, edited and published a book in a day. Each of those 34 days have been less productive than that day – the 8th of December 2019. How do I reflect now I have had time to take it all in?

The day after was a blur. I have never experienced such mental fatigue. I thought I pushed my mental limits before, when I was last minute cramming for exams, but this was different. Hard to explain exactly but I was irritable, slow and mentally drifting all day. Had the fact that I had been so productive one day meant I couldn’t be productive the next one? To sum it up in a word – yes.

The sleep I got that day was awful. As soon as I submitted my work to Kindle Direct Publishing at 23.56 I tried to go to sleep. That was highly ambitious. Although I was so tired my brain still needed some down time. The wheels were still spinning in my head as I closed my eyes. Sleep didn’t come for another hour and a half. This didn’t help my lust for life the next day. I did manage to complete my day at work, but it was a lethargic one. A bit like a hangover day.

The week after I read the book again and became annoyed with it, almost to the point of shame. I realized that I had made a few little errors of grammar and spelling. The shame. It was tarnishing my sense of achievement.

I struggled with the need to correct these errors. I knew I could fix most of them in an hour or two but then of course the book would not have been truly written, edited and published in a day. The dilemma – do I fix it?

This dilemma sat with me for a few days. I want to fix it, but I couldn’t fix it. Who said so? I said so. I needed to stay true to the title and leave it warts and all. It is testament to the fact that the task is difficult, and I am an inexperienced writer. The little mistakes give it some rawness that maybe show the reader some realness.

Now 34 days later the shame has dimmed, and the sense of pride has returned. I am not fully happy with the book and maybe never will be as it is slightly flawed. Like a piece of music with a few off notes, the flow isn’t perfect but maybe that’s ok. Maybe it is the off notes that make the music interesting.

Would I recommend doing what I did – no not really, it fried my brain. But if you feel that same urge I did – go for it. Why not.

Learn from my mistake and spend more time editing would be one suggestion. Another suggestion is to read it out loud to yourself as you edit, I didn’t do this another mistake I made. I was glad I managed to exercise and eat out with my wife that day. I am also delighted I recorded some of the process in a vlog which I will share soon.

I am happy I did it, I was sure I could produce something, I wasn’t sure whether it would be a cohesive and interesting read. I think it is though. If you are looking for something to read on your next sun holiday or train journey, go for it.

2 Thoughts

  1. Perfection is overrated John. Leonard Cohen puts it best:

    Ring the bells that still can ring,

    Forget your perfect offering,

    There is a crack in everything,

    That’s how the light gets in.

    I prefer to let my posts simmer for a while though! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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