Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Under the Wire

I've still got a few more chapters to edit, and it's March. If I could get one chapter per day edited, this wouldn't present a particular problem, since my initial timeline was to be finished by the end of February or possibly mid-March. Now it looks as though mid-March is the more accurate projection. Of course, that was Bob's guess in the first place--that's why he's the fabulous agent and I'm the anxious writer. I don't mean to make wild promises, but sometimes I get so eager to hand over a finished product that I estimate a bit short as to how much time it will take me to get things done. I need to be aware of that in the future, so I don't set unrealistic deadlines. And then there was the time I wrote an entire book in eight weeks. (First novel of the trilogy, no outline, organic process, fewer other time constraints, yada, yada, yada.) Silly of me to think that just because I'd done that once, I could pull it off again. Nope, this is a sequel in the middle of a trilogy. Any inconsistancies that I can avoid now by paying strict attention to detail will mean fewer editing headaches down the road. There are too many things that have to be set up and brought into agreement with the other books for me to just happily write my way through without an outline and a whole lot of planning. More experienced professional writers will be nodding their heads now and saying "Yep. I could've told you that."

A lot of what's slowing me down is family issues, homeschooling, and general chaos in the house. I really need staff to handle the household while I'm working on a book. I need an "Alice" (the Brady Bunch's housekeeper.) I need a personal assistant, a tutor, a nanny and a chef. But I am SO not going to have those anytime soon! I AM the personal assistant, tutor, nanny and part-time chef. I'm also the chauffeur, the maid, and the housekeeper. Wait! Wasn't the title Professional Writer in there somewhere???

Here's my tentative plan. When it comes time to write a new book, if I write like crazy during the months of June, July, and August, then the rest of the time (assuming I get more than three months to finish a book) will be spent on the rewrites and edits. June, July and August are all non-homeschool months, and some of the kids' other extracurricular activities are on summer hiatus. There'll be fewer things for me to forget, miss, or mess up, and I'll also have time for the conferences and things that I normally attend. In other words, if I'm either absent or absent-minded during that time, not everything will descend into chaos without my micromanagement.

Here's some Sagittarian honesty. I have ten chapters to edit. I'll get one knocked off tonight, and then I'll see where I am. I really want to have the finished book to my crit group partners by Sunday, but that may be more than I can manage. I do solemly swear to have the entire rewrite done by St. Patrick's Day. Wish me luck; I've already got the Irish.

No comments: