Mario Villalobos

The Quantifiable Life

It feels good to be back. The routine is sound, except I’m still figuring out how to properly implement my novel rewrite into my day because I’m not too sure how I’m going to approach the rewrite yet. I came up with some good ideas today that I hope to implement in the coming days and weeks and just see how they feel and work. I’ve never rewritten a novel before. This current version of my novel was supposed to be a rewrite of my last novel, but I started it from scratch and in doing so, it became something completely new. Now I like this draft a lot, and I want to make it better. It’s fun but difficult and a little bit overwhelming.

If there’s one thing today taught me is that it’s good to give yourself a break when you need it. I didn’t write 300 words this morning (for obvious reasons), and I didn’t beat myself at all for not having a plan already in place and me implementing it as much as possible. I should be okay with simply letting myself think, and that’s what I did, and I feel good about it. I’ve been relying too much on quantifying everything, and that has setup unmanageable expectations for myself. I need to relax, get my work done, and have some fun. I can see the progress I’ve made in the past eight months with all 470 pages of my novel printed out and ready to be worked on. I know the work I do now can be used as a template for all future rewrites. I should take it slow and make sure I do it right. No rush.

Here are the few ideas I had about my rewrite plan: outline my novel so I can see what I have and see where I can improve it; write new scenes and put them in where I think they should go; and rewrite one or two scenes a day. This last one seems super attractive to me because that’s something I can easily quantify, but it’s last on my list because I don’t want to do something if it’s not right for my project yet. I really think I should outline my novel first and work on the structure, the pacing, the beats, everything like that before I go in and fiddle with the revision phase. The plot needs work, the characters need work, my sentences need work, it all needs work. Again, I’m excited but overwhelmed.

The past few weeks have also been unkind to my weight. Yesterday I weighed myself, and I gained three pounds from the previous week. I weighed myself again this morning and I weighed 2.2 lbs less than yesterday. Overall, I’m up about three pounds since April, and this has made me feel guilty. I shouldn’t be, though. I’ll lose this weight within the next few weeks, but even if I don’t, I still look great. I feel slower, though, but that’s just because I haven’t been working out as much as I used to. Again, I shouldn’t let a quantified life interfere with my mood or progress. It’s going to be hard since I’m so used to doing it, but if my goal is to find a balance that will keep me productive but extremely happy, it’s worth doing, and it’s worth doing right.