All right, I'm just gonna put this out there: I want to have a final draft of my WIP ready by March 1.
I need a goal, so I'm setting one. So there. And even though it's a personal deadline (and I've blogged in the past that I'm not so great with "fake" deadlines), I'm going to see it through.
Why the sudden, dogged determination?
Easy. I've decided it's time to get serious with myself. I'm excited about this book and I'm ready to start the abusive process of querying it out. And I want to start a new book. I have several ideas in various stages of progress and I'm anxious to get moving on them.
Plus, as I've mentioned here before, I think chronologically. I can't do two things at once, period, and that includes writing two books at once. I have to finish a project before starting another one. (Ask me how I juggle freelance writing projects with a design career and a 4-year-old. I really have no answer.) .
Revising my first novel has been a long, slow, sometimes painful process. I finished writing the first draft around March. After a solid read-through and line edit, I put it down. I let a few people read it. I mulled over their feedback. Meanwhile, I kept living with my characters, letting their thoughts interrupt my thoughts on a daily basis, the same way they did while I was writing. Eventually, I reopened the document. I hammered out a new first chapter, then kept going. I made big changes and small changes while plodding through the manuscript (of course) chapter by chapter.
And that's where I am now - roughly halfway through this process of revising and tightening, cutting and recreating. I'm on the precipice of a major change for my main character (I'll be blogging about that soon) and I'm also at a point where my momentum is high. When I'm not working on revisions, I'm thinking about revisions. I'm jotting down notes related to revisions. The Post-Its are stacking up again like they did while I was in the thick of writing.
I guess that's why I'm setting this goal - I want to capitalize on my momentum. I feel like this process of perfecting and recreating could get unwieldy, and I don't want to fall into the trap of overediting. The changes I'm making are ones I've thought through very carefully after months of planning, pondering my beta reader feedback, reading all the fiction I can get my hands on and studying craft (which for me has meant reading blogs, interacting with other writers and reading and re-reading a fantastic book on editing).
So basically, it's time to make a move. Either I'm going to attempt to become a published author or I'm not. And let me just go on the record right now to say I am. I want this. I do. And I realize a lot of other people want it, too, and it might not happen, but it won't be because I haven't put everything I have into it.
So, March 1. And this blog is my accountability partner. By that date - which I'm marking on my calendar in permanent ink with all my other writing deadlines - I'll have a final draft ready, if not for querying (after all this work, I don't want to jump the gun), then at least for serious critique.
I promise to keep you posted.