Deadlines Make the World Go Round

Last Monday I attended my very first San Diego Writers and Editors Guild meeting.


Although it is geared more towards published writers, I figured going before I reached that stage would help me keep some important things in the back of my mind for when I do get there. Attending the meeting was the perfect thing for me to do right now.

The presenter for the evening was The San Diego Book Awards Association.


It turns out that they host an unpublished novel competition each year. Part of my brain continued listening after I heard that, but I must admit most of my mind was elsewhere. This is exactly what I needed in order to move on to the next level.

Right now my first novel is sitting in the proverbial drawer. I still really like it, but there are some things that need to be fixed, and I’m not quite sure how to fix it yet. Well, I have some ideas, but … well initially I had a publisher wanting to read it, which kept me focused on completing it. Unfortunately he has since changed publishing houses and now only represents non-fiction. That took away any pressing need to do another round of polishing. The awards has given that back to me. I have a deadline and a reason to make my baby shine!

Me being me, as I was sitting there almost listening to the presentation, I decided that not only would I submit novel number one, but also novel number two. Ambitious? Yes. Doable? Yes. Over the weekend I reached the 75,000 word mark (270 pages), and I don’t think it will be much over 80,000 when complete. It still needs to sit and have beta readers take a go at it after I do my first round of edits, but I have six months. Why not get this ready, too?

Focusing on those two books means that my original plan to jump right into book number three has been postponed. I’ll write a couple scenes that have been popping into my head once book two is in time out, but then I need to get back to editing. I love that have so many ideas and the dedication to get things as right as I can.

While I hate working right up to a deadline, having one in the background keeps me going. I’m sure I won’t still be doing tweaks right up until the end: I will let it go long before that.

And now back to book number two. I’m writing the epilogue!

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