At least, that's what I'd title this if I were writing about myself in the third person. You know, like if The New York Times were to feature this article. Or on The Onion! Except The Onion headline would be much funnier. More like: “Time Log of Plump Author Shows Exactly How She Got So Plump.” Which is not untrue.
What follows is a literal and actual time log that I've been keeping since I signed with my literary agency in 2015, and sheds some light on what it really takes to see a creative project through from start to finish. The log follows me from complete newbie to published author over the span of four years.
FOUR YEARS, I KNOW!
There were a lot of time logs that just read “working on the fucking book,” so I've done us the favor of culling only the most useful of entries that do a good job of showcasing the highs and the lows of any creative endeavor being professionally produced for mass market consumption.
In total, there are 182 entries I've selected that represent a nearly 2,000 hours of work. The two things I found most striking were: (a) The obvious flip flop between feeling on top of the world like you OWN IT, and feeling like you have no idea what you're doing at all, and (b) How many attempts it takes to create something you're proud of. You'll see that I re-wrote chapter one alone something like NINE HUNDRED TIMES. I re-wrote everything nine-hundred times! This was a PROCESS. And it's so obvious once you see it all together on the page, plain as day, at how much work really goes into creating a final product that looks effortless. Nothing is effortless. Not even work you love.
So without further ado, allow me to present you with: THE LOG. Not a poop reference, tempting as it is.
Can't see the images? You Can Download a PDF Here. 🙂