Monday, October 5, 2009

Deadlines

Virgil Brinkman back on the air. Forgive me, but yesterday was so full I exercised my sabbath exception for this blog.

In mid-September, I set myself the deadline of finishing the first draft of Elementals. When I say "first draft," I mean a complete manuscript that has been written, read and revised by me (albeit quickly) and read by two other people with comments. That's my idea of a first draft. As I've said before, I edit the previous day's work before I move forward to catch any glaring issues and remind myself of where I'm going. Reading and editing are accomplished in less than half an hour (as opposed to fewer than 30 minutes. Are we learning yet? Grrr.)

So, I set myself this deadline, figuring I should be able to make it without problem.

I didn't make it. I haven't come close. I'm five days past and hoping I'll be able to work on the story tonight, but if I go visit my grandmother, I may not have time.

I can give you all the usual excuses. Some of them are valid. Some are not. While my goal is to publish a book before Jesus returns, I may have waited too long to start. I meant to do this before I got a life.

Being temporal creatures, we all face deadlines. Work, school, birthdays, dates for knee surgery: deadlines are everywhere. Inspiration does not happen on deadline, but it is amazing to me how inspiration will follow if you put in the plodding, day-to-day work of just writing something. Every paragraph written is another step in the writing journey. Not every paragraph will shine or move you to tears, but it will help you finish a story. I've found it much easier to revise than write fresh,
possibly because I'm often making up my world as I go, but I have to write something to revise.

Here's to a revised deadline of October 15. If I'm not done by then, Elementals is still going in the drawer and Star of Justice is coming out for review and submission by October 31.

Don't panic, faithful Elemental manuscript readers, I'm bluffing. I wouldn't do that to my second born. Or to you.

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