I learned a lot from the initial attempt.
1. I need a deadline. In my line of work, I am more effective if I know when my deliverable is due. At my Day Job, we’ve been experimenting with a new system where the creative team is told the number of hours they have on a project to stay within budget. It doesn’t work for me. I’ll fill the time like expanding foam. Give me a due date and it’ll be done.
2. I benefit from tracking my word count. Here’s why…
3. I love a countdown. I use a Countdown widget on my Google homepage. I couldn’t have predicted the motivation/system check it provided. The one I used allowed you to “tag” the event which you are counting down days/hours/whatever. Using the nightly word count, I could divide the number of words to completion (arbitrarily, 100,000 words minus my word count) by the number of days. When I began this journal I had a comfortable 500 words per day average to reach completion. When the wheels came off in early September, it was a manageable, but challenging 871 words per day.
My post deadline strategy? Return to writing every night, whether I want to or not, whether I nod off or not (or how many times I nod off). After the deadline passed, my intensity took a real hit. I really thought I would make it. I’ll continue to count up from the deadline. I read once that John Grisham wrote A Time to Kill (a Mocking Bird) in the morning before everyone awoke. Makes for an interesting folk tale, but I wonder if life ever got in his way. I’ve been chronicling this experience to answer the Grisham question.
The summer system got me through the bulk of the work – I’m just shy of 75,000 words. I write after everyone is in bed. With the fall television season , that means an hour later than summer time.
Now I’m at a stage/point in the process that I need to knit the big pieces together. Kind of like when my mother would attach the finished sleeves to the sweater she was knitting; big pieces being stitched together.
The story is 160 pages at this point, there are a bunch of pieces to bring together, coherently, cohesively. It’s such a monster process. But piece by piece it starts to accumulate. I need to print the whole thing and sit down with a red pen.
Post deadline goal; or deadlines any boy could meet:
December 18. Flying out to visit family for the holidays.
WOW, who knew a little comment would turn into a big ol’ thing? Let this be a lesson to others. I hope this wasn’t a waste of your time. Thanks for stopping by.