There is something I don't like much about myself, but it is no less true for its annoying nature. I'm more effective when I HAVE TO BE. I think it's human nature, to buck up and come through when we're under the gun, and sadly, I'm not abnormal on this one.
As a college student, I didn't let myself get too behind, I didn't procrastinate, because frankly, I don't read fast enough to do it all last minute. At the time I erred under the misconception that meant I wasn't like all those procrastinators... in reality, I just had a decent read on all that HAD to be done and how much time I needed to do it.
So somewhere along the line, I started giving myself faux deadlines. And you know what? Even though I KNOW these are only self-instilled, they still work. (or at least work a lot better than NOT having them).
I've tried since the very first time it looked like I really might finish a long writing project to instill these for myself in this domain, too... early on it was two chapters a month, then one a week... then I had my first WriMo experience... and I started looking at the writing world for these 'DEADLINE opportunities'.
There is one COMING you know...
It happens yearly (this will be the fourth year), and it is a writing contest for any unpublished work (though I think they keep tweaking how they count self-published)... and a writer who had a work... say... WRITTEN... and needed some incentive to CLEAN THE DARNED THING UP... don't you SEE what a perfect opportunity this is?
And so I am madly editing something I haven't touched since I finished writing it (June 28, 2010 if the date on the file is right)... and what I've written is about 90% good stuff... but the ORDER is sort of a mess and there is a LOT missing (at least that is my assessment from the halfway point because you see, not only do I need to EDIT it... I am having to TYPE about a third of it... so it's still a little slow... BUT I WILL GET THERE!!!)... but I have my work cut out for me.
But see, the UPSIDE of this I HAVE TO! If I DON'T I will be HUMILIATED! No truly diagnosed FOMS carrier is allowed to skip such an event so it HAS TO BE READY!
So in the spirit of being the bad influence I aim to be... I want each of you to look at your 'to be edited' pile. Is there something winking at you? A nice DOCUMENT saying 'look at sexy me!' Come on, you know there is... you've GOT TO PLAY!!!
If anyone DECIDES TO and is on Facebook, there is a smallish group (mostly veterans thus far) you can join for discussions, pitch polish, get questions answered... support... It's a nice bunch thus far and I don't have any reason to think that will change.
And if you want to sign up for ABNA itself, just go HERE.
Well... this is one of the reasons I love WriMos... and now I have REAL deadlines...
As for that real deadline... My next is September 30... but I have given myself the FOLLOWING leading up to it:
March 31: 1st draft done
April and May will be devoted to first basic, then my own first rewrite.
June will be peer review
July will be the FEEDBACK rewrite
August will be agent month
September will be revise and polish
See that... half a dozen steps... if any gets behind I know I need to speed another... It is not a bad strategy, I think...