I set myself a deadline to finish my latest novel by mid July. I’d calculated how many chapters, how many words per chapter, how long I take to write and edit and then figured on a finish date. The finish date is 14th July. Ooops that’s only seven days away – what the!
And where am I in the novel, you may well ask and I’d have to tell you Chapter 15. Where I need to be is chapter 22 (and that may not even tie things up so it may go further – maybe to chapter 25). So what do I do now? Should I throw the manuscript away in disgust because I failed? Rant and rave and throw a tanty (blaming my family because they just don’t get it)?
OF COURSE NOT.
I count myself as a writer (a professional one at that) so I need to get myself back on course.
Okay, I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t stick to my plan (so disappointed that I resorted to a cream-filled lamington to cheer me up) and luckily this deadline is just my own. But what if it were a publisher’s deadline instead? I’d be in a stickier situation than I am now. I may have my contract ripped up. I may lose all credibility. It could be suicide to my writing career to say the least. It just proves that my original plan had merit and is good training for a real set-in-mud deadline.
Why did I let this happen? All I can say is that life got in the way. There was a family wedding (my step-son), more games of football, school assignments (that I had to help with or my 15-year-old son fails math), parties, dinners other writing and even housekeeping.
STOP right there! Housekeeping! Now where were my priorities? I really wanted to finish this manuscript. Again I have to take stock of what is important – and to me that is WRITING. So I’ll write up a new plan because now I’ll have to get the last seven or so chapters finished in a month. Why a month? Just because, okay!
Or maybe I should ditch the plan and just write, write and write. I’ll ignore phone calls, children whining for food, the dog barking to be let out to wee, Packed to the Rafters, my mum’s phone calls (ah, nah can’t do that one), my husband (can do that, sorry honey), the boiling kettle, the burnt dinner – everything.
Anyhow the new deadline is August 14th. Wish me luck and any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.