Being late to being early

‘Start writing sooner than you think!’ is one of those pieces of advice that are easier to give than to take.

Like advice to write ‘little and often’, everyone knows that it is universally applicable, except in this very specific situation in which I find myself, where it would just be so much better to do a little more reading, a little more research.

Writing will have its day. So soon. Very soon.

Now that I’m staring down the barrel of book #3, I’m beginning to wonder if I ever understood what this advice was meant to mean. Do I wish right now that I had drafted out whole sections of the book, when I hardly knew my way through the secondary literature, and certainly had no idea of what shape the book would be?

Not really.

But writing is not just drafting full-formed prose.

The more of this work I do, the more I value planning sooner than you think. Replanning, and unplanning, and shifting blocks of ideas around, and playing with the big structure of a project as you go. It’s hard to start drafting chunks of actual prose when you are in this kind of mode of thinking about a project, and it’s a stage that I think projects have to go through, especially around the time you are writing to publishers to pitch the Big Idea.

So here’s to planning early and planning often.

I will be the author of the best plans ever! Readership: 1. But really, deeply popular with that readership.


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