After giving up on the dream of writing a TV show about a theatre crew, I thought turning the idea into a book would be no big deal. Convert the pilot script into prose, and finish the story from there. Shouldn’t be that much work.
It took me five years.
I quickly found out that working from my dining room table came with too many distractions, so I started carting my laptop down to the library on weekends. I’d set myself up in a private study room, all ready to work, but first I’d need to check Facebook. Also Twitter. Then I had to find just the right music to put myself in the right frame of mind to concentrate. I’d finally settle in and get a little work done, but before long I’d need to go to the bathroom. I certainly wasn’t leaving my computer unattended in a public place, and by the time I’d packed everything up to take it with me, it was just easier to go home for the day.
Next I tried taking my own little writing retreats, where I rented a hotel room and worked late into the night, but that got expensive real fast and also my husband wasn’t thrilled.
Finally I figured out how to create a quiet writing space in our sun room. It’s an uninsulated addition on the back of our house, so most of the year it’s either freezing cold or boiling hot, but I made it work. Then came the real challenge — actually making myself go out there most weekends and some evenings, on a regular basis, and keep at it until the thing was done. If I didn’t set a routine and stick to it, nothing happened.
I took some breaks, especially when I was working on a play, but I always went back to it, and after eight drafts I was ready to publish.