Revising Leah

May 25, 2008

How I Write

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , , ,

Lately, I’ve been writing and revising in the morning, shortly after I wake up. That’s not necessarily the best time of day for me to write and work (I’ve also been known to work in the afternoons and evenings), but I find that the best way to stay on track when working on a long-term writing project, like a novel, is to schedule a particular time to work every day — and then faithfully stick to that schedule. Procrastination is the most dangerous temptation that a writer faces, but if you schedule time to work, if you say “During these hours of the day, I will write and do nothing else” then that will help defeat the urge to procrastinate.

I spend at least one or two hours working everyday. You can get a lot accomplished in that period of time, and if you do work everyday, it is possible to make quick progress. Nevertheless, I understand how long this project will take. I expect to work throughout the summer and well into the fall before Leah is at a point where I will feel comfortable [re-]publishing it.

I do my writing on my laptop. The text of Leah that I am working on is a single .doc file. Once a week, I transfer the file onto an external flash drive for storage. I learned long ago that catastrophes do happen with respect to computers and electronics, and if my laptop were to suddenly die, I might lose all of my work. Storing a copy of the file on my flash drive ensures that if the unspeakable does occur, I will not have lost more than a week’s worth of work.

The file that I’m working on is more or less formatted (in terms of margins and page size) in the way that it will be when I [re-]publish the novel. Right now, the story is 263 pages long, which is exactly the same length as the final version of The Spring. However, I don’t think the final draft of Leah will be quite as long as that. I’m cutting a lot of fat out of the book as I revise, so I’d guess that the final draft will be somewhere between 230 and 250 pages long. I’ll have a much better idea of what the final length might be when I’ve completed this current round of revisions (hopefully by the end of June).

This blog has become part of my writing process, too. As you can see from the dates of the posts, I tend to add one new post every couple of days. So far I have a lot to post about (and I have a mental backlog of ideas for posts in my head), but that well might dry up after a couple of months and these posts might become less frequent. We’ll see. Sometimes I worry that posting to this blog takes up too much time (sometimes it threatens to be a distraction causing me to procrastinate), but I usually don’t post until I’ve done my writing for the day.



  1. In blog surfing found your site; interesting and will continue to follow by placing you in my “favorite links”, and will be looking for your books at Borders next week.

    Annie O.

    Comment by cedarstreetwriter — May 25, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

  2. Thanks. You’re too kind. You won’t find The Spring in a “brick-and-mortar store” because of how I published it, but you can order a physical copy through the major websites (Amazon, Borders, B&N, etc.). The Spring is the only book of mine that I’d recommend at this time. You might be able to find a copy online of one the 1996 editions of Leah that are floating around, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy Leah until I’ve republished it (probably in early 2009).

    Comment by jmreep — May 26, 2008 @ 11:39 am

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