1. I’ve got a brilliant idea! I must write it immediately!
2. Procrastinate for anything from a week to a year.
3. Start writing.
4. Suspect it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
5. Write for a while with less enthusiasm.
6. Have another brilliant idea.
7. Either give up and start that one or push on with the promise of the next idea as a reward.
8. Finish the (shitty) first draft. You know, eventually.
10. Put it away so I can come back to it with “fresh eyes”.
11. Do all the things I couldn’t do while I was writing. Mostly the same things I did while I was writing, but without the “I should be writing” fear and guilt.
12. After a couple of weeks (or years) read with “fresh eyes.”
13. Realise how much work it needs.
14. So much work that I don’t think I can do it.
15. No, really.
17. Realise the flailing is more painful than the rewriting (probably).
18. Trick myself into rewriting… “I’ll just make a few notes. I don’t have to write anything if I don’t want to.”
19. Do this for the whole book.
20. Feel like I’m getting somewhere. Think about how lucky I am to get to do this instead of having a proper job!
21. Start actual rewriting rather than just note-making.
22. Email people with research questions.
23. Obviously, I can’t write anything until I’ve got the answers to the research questions. That’s just common sense.
24. Get the answers.
27. Think “It’s not rocket science, FFS, it’s just a book. Get on with it.”
28. Get on with it.
29. Or not.
30. Write a blog post about my writing process so that next time I write a book (if there is a next time) I can remind myself that I do this every bloody time.