Writer’s Diary #12: Finishing a Draft

Yesterday I finished a draft of the Introduction, printed it, and re-read it with an eye for editing. Now, with a draft, the question is what’s next? Bits are great. Parts suck. The chapter is unfinished. But, I need a change. The question for the diary: should I stay with it or should I go?

In my experience, writing is iterative work: slow, fast; hard, soft; work, pause. Work hard then leave a piece for a week or a month or more and come back to it.

This morning, my job is to do the big picture carving and then the little editing. Both, the micro and the macro, but the whole thing. With hard, focused work on the whole, and the removal of the big structural pieces I leave the entire chapter ready of a time, and then I can do something else.

Finishing is hard, but I never finish until much later. But along the way, I need space so that when I come back I can see ways to make the words better, shorter, tighter, cleaner, and clearer.

For this, distance is necessary.

Today is the last day of the introduction.…