I had my premise for a novel and I dove into it head first. Unlike many of you reading this blog, I have a day job that gives me the benefit of two months off every year. I know what you're probably thinking. "Two months off? I could get so much accomplished with two months off. How did this dufus end up failing at completing a book when he has two months off every year?"
In my own defense, my day job is pretty intense and I have to put in a lot of hours. At the time this picture was taken, I was working six days a week. For four of those days, I put in twelve hours straight with only a half hour, contractually obligated lunch. I've cut the hours back dramatically since then, but the point of the story is this: my life was completely out of balance.
That lack of balance was a big part of my failure. My four year cycle went something like this. In the summer, when I had time off, I would work on my book for a few hours and then would spend some time on a travel website I used to put together. When I went back to work in the fall, I would be able to still carve out some time in the evenings to put in some work. By the time winter would hit, I would be fully committed at work and I would only write sporadically. By the time I got to spring, I would have stopped doing everything. I went through this terrible cycle every spring where I was either working or sleeping or driving to one of those two places.
As I drove to and from to work, the book was always on my mind. I told myself that as soon as I got to the summer, I would get back to it. And, I did. However, the first two weeks were usually spent going back over what I read just so I could get back to where I was the previous winter when I quit.
Because I would lose my momentum, I kept setting myself further and further back. The summer of 2014 was the last time I worked on Full Autonomy. My results were completely pathetic. I spent weeks outlining the story just so I could figure out some of the plot points I had forgotten about. I have a composition book in one of my files that has pages and pages of notes I wrote. It was a completely worthless exercise and I got nowhere. There was only one thing I gained from that summer. I admitted defeat to myself and decided to start with something brand new. You're not doing yourself any favors by taking time off.