Once upon a time (in March), I made a goal to revise--and by revise, I mean totally overhaul--a 320-page novel in nine days. Looking back, that's more stupid than crazy. Even when I broke it down into "bites" to make it on schedule, I was usually trying to hit 40 pages a day.
On a book that needed substantial rewrites, that was a lot to handle on a single day (especially as a mom with little kids at home). I kept up the good slog, staying up late and getting up early, working through dinner, etc. It was a lot of work! In my first week of work, I cut 76 pages of material--and my manuscript was only 17 pages shorter. That's almost 60 pages of new material in a week. No wonder it was so hard!
But after those first seven days, I had a break through--or maybe a break down. I was adding a lot of new material on one particular storyline, and that took research and thought and planning in addition to the actual writing. Finally, I realized I needed to sit down and write out the scenes from that storyline all together to make sure all the steps came in the right order.
So on day eight, I focused on just the scenes that were already in the book--i.e. scenes that were not in the new storyline--and decided to write the other storyline and insert it later. And instead of staying up until the wee hours to eke out my 40 pages, I hit 50 pages by 8 PM! I planned, researched and wrote out the new scenes and slipped them into the story over the next day or two. (Great, fail me now, progress spreadsheet. Sigh.) It was a rough rewrite--but it was done!
The moral of the story: know how you work, know your strengths and limitations--and group tasks for efficiency!
Now go jump start the day!