Mario Villalobos

I Finished My Novel

It only took me 260 days, but I finished my novel today. The first draft at least, and now comes the fun part: the rewrite. I’m actually afraid to start it because I don’t know where to start. It’s not as easy as sitting down every morning and writing 300 words and calling it a day. There’s no easy way to quantify a rewrite, is there? I only want it to be quantifiable because I want to keep myself accountable on a daily basis, but I won’t be able to, and that’s okay. I have to figure out a good workflow for me to use for rewrites since I’ve never built one for myself. At least not one that was any good. I’m excited, though. There’s a lot of work to do — which has felt paralyzing — but I know I can do it and I know the end result will be worth it.

I’m back to my regular routine, and I missed it. I missed it a lot. I loved having something to do during the mornings, the afternoons, and right now at night. Since I didn’t go to work today because of Memorial Day, I had more free time than I would normally have on a Monday, and I used that to read and watch Man of Steel. I’m reading the revised edition of Getting Things Done, and it inspired me to create a new perspective in OmniFocus that I hope will help me feel less overwhelmed and burnt out yet more motivated to check stuff off. I normally had just one perspective, my Today perspective, which showed everything due or deferred today and was flagged. Most of the tasks there repeated every day as part of my routines, and those are the easiest for me to do and check off. It was the other tasks, those I would have liked to get done today but wouldn’t feel too bad about if I didn’t. At least that’s what I hoped in theory. In fact, every day I would postpone a task to tomorrow was another sliver of guilt I felt. After days of this, those slivers added up to real mental weight that made me feel overwhelmed and guilty. So now I’m using my Today perspective as my list of most important tasks, which just includes my routines: my morning routine with writing, transcribing, learning, meditating, etc., my nightly routine with more writing, reading, etc., and those other routines like working out and journalling. Those all covered my three areas of living, and those are the tasks I really want to focus on and get done on a daily basis. Sometimes, though, I have time to do something else, but since it either wasn’t flagged or I simply wasn’t feeling it at that moment, I wouldn’t do it. Now, though, I can just look at this Next perspective and just see what’s available for me to do since this perspective simply shows every unflagged and available task I can do right now. Granted, I just started doing this today so I don’t know what it looks like in the long run, but I think this will help me out, at least at first.

I don’t want to burn out again, but I also don’t want to be such a workaholic. For this next stretch of time, from now to Day 365, I’m hoping I make great strides toward finding that balance that has been evading me thus far. I’m confident I can at least get close, but only time will tell. I feel good about it, and I haven’t been able to say that for at least a month. God, it feels good to be back.