Normally during a retreat, I survive on two to three hour naps. I’m usually so psyched that I can work long stretches of time. Really, that’s the whole idea of getting away to write. No interruptions. No routine. It’s incredibly awesome. A marathon of writing. Or editing, in this case.
During this retreat, even the word marathon makes my sinuses throb. All things considered, there’s been good progress on my editing. Using the mind over matter technique, I made a valiant effort to deny my cold symptoms the power to slow my work process. And I was successful. For a good three hours of editing. Make that a great three hours. After that, I started to fade. Just a bit. I hung in there for several more hours.
In that time, I edited another four chapters. Not bad, but not enough. I expected to be farther along at this point. After all, the manuscript was perfect. It was just a matter of turning the pages. Good, good, good, and good. How long could it take. I’m kidding, of course. I did a few rewrites. Nothing major but more time-consuming than nodding my head and turning a page.
The important thing is that I’m satisfied—make that pleased—with all the chapters I’ve completed. The question now is, do I have time to finish the book by deadline. My own deadline. The end of the retreat. I could stay an extra day, a definite probability, or wish I’d packed it in when I got sick, and re-scheduled. Well, it’s too late to pack it in.
Along with the other cold symptoms—headache, throbbing sinuses, fatigue, fever—I’ve lost my voice. Some of you may wonder why that is a big deal. After all, I’m by myself. Why would I need to talk? Writers would recognize the setback. Reading my work aloud is one of the most effective methods of editing. But let’s look on the bright side. Sure, I can’t read my work aloud now, but by keeping my mouth shut I won’t cough as much—that croupy throat-tearing cough. That’s a good thing. Right?
Here’s to speedier progress, my friends. Wish me luck. Only a few more chapters to go…