Sharing in the Struggle
I watched a Barnes and Noble interview with Barack Obama the other night about his newest book, The Promised Land. I'll confess, I didn't watch the entire thing, as I had screen/zoom fatigue by then, but what I saw of it was interesting.
What I found the most interesting wasn't necessarily the content of the book, but the commonalities we share as writers. He was frank and honest about his routines and methods. He mentioned he tends to do his best writing between 10 PM and 1 AM. This is actually the polar opposite of when I like to write. I tend to like writing first thing in the morning and into the afternoon.
He also mentioned that he writes all of his stuff using longhand on yellow legal pads. He said that is more productive for him and makes for a cleaner transcription. I thought that was particularly interesting given my efforts on my latest manuscript "At the Lake" (Working Title).
As I've mentioned, I am trying to write this one entirely in longhand first. I've done some of this for my other books, but never start-to-finish. I've found it is much easier to get my thoughts down with a pen and then transcribe (and edit) it into MS Word after the fact. I use notebooks of varying sizes, the most recent one being the back half of one of my son's high school notebooks that had a bunch of unused pages.
One of my writing instructors used to write his stuff on ridiculously small notebooks and even post it notes. The guy is successful, so who's going to argue. Do whatever works for you.
Along those lines, I passed the 40,000 word mark the other day so am making my best progress ever on a first draft. There is still a long way to go, but the pandemic has been good to me from a writing standpoint. I basically started this book in January of 2020, so am ahead of my projected schedule.
Anyway, my point is, it's interesting that an ex-President can share the same struggles and successes during the course of his writing as I can. That doesn't make me any better or anywhere near his caliber of success, but it is comforting knowing that we are in the same boat.