The home stretch of writing

A big moment of sorts last week: I finished the first and rough draft of the book.

That doesn’t mean I’m done. But it does mean that I’ve started the second round.

What happened over the past year is roughly this: The basic idea proved better than I could have hoped. And the book almost wrote itself, much more easily and faster than I ever thought. But it took me a while to find my own, authentic, loose and easy voice (as opposed to my “The Economist” voice which I’ve become so accustomed to over the past decade). (Blogging helped, as you recall.)

And so I ended up with an unexpected trajectory: The early chapters are fine, but need improvement. Then the chapters get better and better, and the final ones absolutely rock.

So now, in the second draft, which I’m hoping will only take another month or so (all the raw material is already there), I need to bring the entire book, from the first sentence to the last, up to the quality of the later chapters.

Then I’ll mail them off to the editor at Riverhead, and see what happens next. I’m quite curious about the process….

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