“A deadline is, simply put, optimism in its most kick-ass form. It’s a potent force that, when wielded with respect, will level any obstacle in its path. This is especially true when it comes to creative pursuits.”

— Chris Baty, No Plot? No Problem!

*   *   *

“I love deadlines.  I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

— Douglas Adams

In honor of Camp, a few quotes about deadlines.  Right now, I’m enjoying that whooshing sound, but soon, hopefully, I’ll manage to get the reins on that deadline and ride out the month.

1:07h ~ 1,116w






Hello all!  It’s been a while, so I figured it was about time to sweep out the cobwebs and get back on track with this blog.  Very brief update on the last four months of my life:

I left my nannying job at the end of December and moved from Virginia to Maryland.  Maryland didn’t work out, so at the beginning of March, I moved out to Utah.  I started a new job two weeks ago which is full-time, so there may be issues once school starts up again in June, but at least I have a job for now and it pays better than my last one.  I am very glad I decided to take the semester off because this is the first I’ve even opened my novel since I finished the zero draft back in December.

As for my novel, and the real reason I’m touching this blog again:  I finished my Zero Draft, full of typos and contradictions and plot holes galore.  I let it sit and mature and all that.  And now Camp NaNoWriMo has begun and it is time to work it up into a solid First Draft.

I will admit:  I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

I have never once made it through an entire novel in even an attempt to revise it.  This has been my biggest struggle as a writer for a very long time and it is the number one reason I chose to do my MFA in creative writing.  Unfortunately, my studies so far have been focused on nitpicking other people’s works and the writing of my first full draft.  I feel very much on my own now that I’m in that in-between stage: I have a draft, but I’m not to the point of nitpicky editing (which is the part I’m good at).  Fortunately, to graduate I have to present a finished novel to the Powers That Be who must judge me before they deem me a worthy Master of Fine Arts, so I won’t walk away from this without learning something about revising and editing an entire novel.  However, I expect I will learn most of that through trial and error—lots and lots of error…—and a whole lot of flat-out perseverance.  I will be quite happy to be on the other side, but right now, I’m just a fish out of water.

One of my goals for the LOA (Leave of Absence), was get as much revising done on my own before I got back to working with an advisor so that I could really make the most of what he/she has to offer and so that I didn’t have to stress about revising an entire novel in two semesters or less on top of reading another 30 or so books, writing short papers for all of those, and writing 2-3 20-page papers.  My plan has been to go through it at least once and make some solid revisions, make sure the story is in order, deal with any major plot holes, who knows what else—not me, I’ve never done this before….  In any case, as a Deadline is the best way to get something done, I decided to plan the bulk of my revisions for Camp.  And here it is, we’re already nudging into Day 3 and I haven’t actually even started, but I’m committing myself now.  As the system is set to track words in order to secure your win, in order to meet the “50,000 word” goal, I have to put in 50 hours of revising this month.  I’m not sure that’s exactly accurate because when I’m actively writing (not surfing the internet for “research” or using other popular Procrastination techniques), I can comfortably write 2000 words in an hour, and therefore can write 50K words in about 25 hours, but it seems the easiest and most straightforward way to go about it, plus, the revision process is an entirely different animal.

So far, I’ve spent about 8 minutes on my novel in which I found my Zero Draft, saved it as a new draft so I have something fresh to work with, remembered my writing partner had recommended a blog post by a mutual writing friend about revising, looked for and found that post, started reading (research and preparation legitimately counts as revising…right?), then realized I had neglected my own blog and that perhaps it would help me stay motivated during Camp, and decided to write a quick post while it was on my mind.  And here I am.  If you give a mouse a cookie…  Anyway, with those 8 minutes, I’ve got in a solid 133 words toward my 50,000 word goal for the month.  I think it’s time to do dinner and go to bed so I’ll be refreshed and ready for another productive revision session before work tomorrow.

Happy writing!

0:08h ~ 133w