I took to heart what Greyhaus agent Scott Eagan said at the 2013 RWA Utah Hearts of the West Conference. To paraphrase, he said new writers are rushing. He’s getting queries and manuscripts that are not ready. In conjunction with my habit of setting aggressive goals and consequently burning out, I’m taking a slightly different approach this time.
My first inclination is for Thanksgiving to be my deadline, but that is unrealistic. Here’s the breakdown. I have 71 scenes. I did 2 scene micro edits yesterday, leaving 69 scenes to go. Christmas is in eight weeks. We’ll take into account I have two four-day over-the-weekend vacations during that time, I work 40-45 hours a week, blog once a week and I snowboard. So:
8*7=56 = 1 scene per day. 69-56= 13. 6 weekends not on vacation= 2 scenes each Sat/Sun and 1 scene each weekday. Puts me at 9 scenes a week for 8 weeks = 72 scenes. And I thought I could do it by Thanksgiving, ha! What a burn-out disaster that would have been. The numbers prove getting the 5th draft dash done by Christmas is still an aggressive goal. The partial goal for Thanksgiving, Sunday the 30th, is to have 54 scene edits done.
Here’s the part where I step back from the big numbers, focus on 9 scenes a week and start slicing the pie of my life so I have time to make it happen. My tactic is to have Sunday be Day 1 for each week and 9 scenes a week goal to start over each Sunday.
I could get more than 9 scenes done this week because the next 6 are pretty much done for micro level edits already, I just need to go through the beta reader’s suggestions. But I need to prep for the Finish The Damn Book contest, so this week I’ll do the 6 easy scenes, the last 3 scenes and the synopsis so I can turn that in by Halloween.