1. Don't stand directly under the paint roller. Doing so will result in painter becoming the paintee. By the time I finished, I resembled Spot in the old Dick and Jane first grade textbook.
When writing my draft, I got too close to my novel and lost objectivity. The manuscript became all wrapped up with my identity. When critique and editing began, it tore at my very being. Now, I try to hold my writing separate from who I am as a person. No more confusion between writer and work.
Keep paint on ceiling and book on page.
2. Prime a new ceiling before painting. I didn't do this. The ceiling soaked up paint like a thirsty camel. Instead of a quick primer coat and one paint coat, it took two heavy paint coats and two days of hard work to get the job done.
I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. No matter how I try to outline or fully structure a book before writing, it doesn't work for me. Yet, even though I don't use a formal process, I do mull things over in my mind and do research for background, setting, and characters. Otherwise the first draft takes forever.
Prepare that ceiling and prepare before diving into the writing waters. 3. Visit the chiropractor AFTER painting the ceiling, not before. This one I got right. Two days of painting left me one hurting puppy. Any benefit from a previous adjustment would have been undone by this activity and required a second appointment.
I'm thankful I didn't seek out a professional editor for my first draft. I wrote and re-wrote until it was in decent shape. Friends and my writers' group pointed out some problems. I learned from workshops and craft books.
Ah yes, save the chiropractor and the editor for when you really need them.
Have you learned any writing lessons the hard way? I'd love to hear about it.