Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Deadline for the Win!!!

Okay, so first... sorry I didn't blog yesterday... I intended to, but I had something BIGGER that had to get done first... maybe I should tell you about it.

You all know how I start BuNoWriMo tomorrow, yeah? (you SHOULD know, hopefully oodles of YOU will join us!)

Well I had my looming Cozy Mystery that I was DETERMINED to finish before that. So I committed to a mad writing weekend...

Now Friday my husband also started a new job. It's been a while since he worked—he's been taking classes for a couple years... but besides that... last time he worked he was a lunch lady. That meant he worked about 4 hour shifts cooking, serving, cleaning... respectable work, but rarely respected... I mean seriously, how many of your kids say... say... I'd really like to be a lunch lady when I grow up...

So the lunch service at the schools privatized in 2007, and they kept him on another year because Chartwells is made up of deceitful bastards... and then they laid off ALL employees who'd worked in the kitchens when the employees were school employees... no offer of, 'look, if you're willing to take a pay cut we can keep you...' just GONE. ALL of them. (see, I told you they were bastards)

So HWMNBMOTI decided he wanted to go to school for some actual training... he's been doing nursing pre-requisites. And as part of it, he took a course (and a state certification test) to be a certified nurses assistant. He finished his pre-reqs earlier in the month, and since the waiting list might be as long as two years, he decided to work USING that CNA. He got a job as a home health aid.

So Friday was his first day... and darned it if he didn't want to TALK about his day... there I was (naked, of course... in the tub... my writing time) trying to write, and he kept coming in and sharing something else... and it was too cute to say 'stop it!' but I think I only got 100-200 words written Friday. [note: HWMNBMOTI is not normally effusive and so honestly, I love it when he wants to talk... but that story isn't as amusing]

So on Saturday I asked my FB crew to double dog dare me to finish by Sunday... I looked at where I was and made a calculation... I figured I had about 4000 words left.

Note: I don't wear hats. My head is big.
Whereby I Prove I am Delusional

I managed to write 2500 words on Saturday... felt pretty good—that is about a thousand past normal in my world. I was pleased... but I could also see I was NOT 1500 from the end. My estimate had been off. So Sunday I got up rearing to write right off the bat... I wrote a little... I went next door and sat by my neighbor's pool and wrote a little more (I have the world's BEST neighbor)... I came home, I wrote some more... I got in the tub and wrote some more.... 4000 words on Sunday... AND I STILL WASN'T FREAKING DONE! *sigh*

BUT, I figured I had also written 2500 words more than I planned, so it wasn't like I'd been slacking. I decided to be a LITTLE gentle and just extend my deadline by a bit (well not a BIT... but... you get what I mean).

And so I DID IT! About one yesterday afternoon I looked and thought... I need a tiny wind down and the press release (done later in the evening), but this BOOK it DONE...

That was book #9!  YAY!]

And Now to the Discussion Portion of this Blog

Is it me, or do I seem to take longer and longer to get to the point? Call me brain fried. No, call me DESERVEDLY Brain Fried...

I seem to be able to push myself so much harder with a deadline looming. This 'has to be done before I start the next thing' FINALLY kicked me into gear. This book has been the slowest write I've had in ages—more than a year, anyway... I think I've only averaged... lets see... I think it took 15 weeks to write 68,000 words. That is less than 650 words a day. NORMAL for me when I am writing is about 1500. [that average goes down quite a lot when you take out the 8000 in the last three days]

Funny, I don't think this book ended up any worse for being so hard to write... We'll see after it has it's sitting time, but it feels okay at the moment. I'm SURE I didn't make the mistake I made last time of having the killer too obvious, as I changed killers about three times in the end.

So any of you have some made deadline drives recently? Do you work better with a deadline? Do anything fun when you meet one? (for instance I cleaned the bathroom and sorted my writing piles *shifty*)


Jennifer Hillier said...

Congratulations! Woo hoo!

I too work better with a deadline. Keeps me stuck to my chair and focused, even though I complain almost the whole time. :)

Jessica Bell said...

LOL. I'm so proud of you!!! that's so wonderful that you got it finished. Great feeling, huh?

I love that your hubbie kept wanting to come in and talk. I assume he had a good first day then. Good news.

Yeah, you do take ages to get to your point but that's one of the things I love about you. You make an interesting story out of everything.

Don't worry about your writing time. I'm even slower. I'm going on two years with my second novel. Eeek!!!

Christine Murray said...

I don't have a writing deadline right now (at least not until I start Bunowrimo tomorrow) but I have a deadline to get my submission packets ready for agents. And yeah, I'm managing to work much faster because the deadline is almost on top of me.

They may be stressful, but deadlines work. Congratulations on finishing your book :)

Mustang Sally said...

Faster than a speeding bullet, Congrats there lady. (yes I've come out from underneath my rock ... no, I haven't quite found my words yet, but I'm working on it)

Huh, deadlines. I suppose I do work better under pressure. I finally got my Memorial Day post up at about 11:30 PM. It took midnight approaching before I could figure out how to say what I wanted. I don't know how you do it.

mooderino said...

That's great. Not only that you finished, but also that you kept going when you'd already put in so much effort. Good job.

Moody Writing

Unknown said...

One of my bad happits is putting things off to the last possible moment but deadlines of any kind seem to work better for me. Tomorrow is the first of June and I might add a holiday here. It is Jesus goes full speed to heaven day. In norwegian that would be, Kristi himmels Fart Dag. Ha ha thought you would like that :) So I start my speed writing 30 day carival on a guick tour first to heaven with Jesus. Congrats on finishing number 9. I know why it took longer, it is the crazy number 9 and its mathematical mysteries.

Amber T. Smith said...

Woo hoo for finishing book #9!!

I don't think deadlines help me as such. I've had limited success when it comes to finishing writing projects, but I've finished with and without deadlines, so I don't think they affect me (unfortunately).

Good luck for tomorrow! *glomps*

Laura said...

Yay - well done!
I put EVERYTHING off, which is why June is going to be such a challenge... I think a lot of chocolate and naked wild swims on the moor (maybe every 5000 completed words) are going to keep me going...
Yay :)

Ciara said...

Cleaning the bathroom would not be my reward choice. :) I do work better with deadlines. It forces me to ignore my family for a few hours, which guilt always seems to prevent. Congratulations on finishing the book!!!

Old Kitty said...

Yay!!!! Yay for having a wonderfully NAKED weekend!!! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS for finishing your book and meeting your deadline most NAKEDly!!!!! Woo-hooo!! Onwards and upwards for you!!

And YAY for hubby too!! Well done him!!!

p.s. I always have deadlines that I ignore. Ahem.!

Take care

Hart Johnson said...

Jennifer-teehee--I've been known to grumble, too.

Jessica-it IS cute he wanted to talk, and he DID seem to like it--the client care part more than the 'system' (or rather lack thereof), but he will get them sorted out!

Christine-those are the other things we need to get off the desk, eh? Good luck on those!

MS-Welcome back! It's great to see you! And you made your deadline!

Thank you, Moody!

Siv-Full speed to heaven eh? teehee--you nutty Norwegians. Hope it helps you speed write!

Tara-you goofball... I think you are the exception that proves the rule.

Laura-maybe the adrenaline will work for you! I hope it does. It certainly would motivate ME to get naked swims on the moors every 5000 words!

Ciara-yeah, the bathroom cleaning isn't my first choice, either, but it is nice to have it CLEAN and no on else in my family seems capable of the deep clean I do.

Hart Johnson said...

Jenny-you snuck in there! Thank you!!!

Luanne G. Smith said...

You are a (naked) writing machine. You finished a novel this past weekend and then you want to jump into BuNoWriMo?

Cheering you on from the sidelines! :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

I sit down to write 'scenes' and don't get up until they're done. The most I wrote in one day since starting this project was a ten page scene/chapter (a little over 3000 words). Unfortunately I haven't been able to re-create that flow since. lol. Congrats on finishing your 1st draft!

Anonymous said...

I give myself deadlines. They kinda sorta help. I'm finishing the draft for a WIP and will send out ARCS by the end of June. That's a self imposed deadline.

Alison DeLuca said...

I loved your double dog dare challenge!

I"m worse than you - it took me (let's see, Jan, Feb, March, April, May...) 15 weeks to write 53K. Not good. And not edited - just starting today.

PS - Are you certain that HWMNBMOTI didn't jut want to see you in the tub?

Southpaw said...

It's funny this last bit of writing, or rewriting rather, has been slow for me too.

Hart Johnson said...

LG-yeah, I can be nutty that way... In my defense, BuNoWriMo will only be my second book this year. The first month and a half I edited.

Katie-Not a WriMo girl, eh? i love the adrenaline. And my blocks of time are somewhat set, so I'd be in trouble on that scene thing.

Stephen-my deadlines are often self-imposed... I often miss them by a little, but usually am medium good. i'd NEVER have something ready for other eyes though, in less than a month after finishing the first draft! I'm impressed!

Alison-you were so funny with your Christmas Story reference! I normally write fast but then it takes several rounds on the rewrite before I think it's decent.

Holly-something must be in the air!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to your husband! And to you for finishing despite the excessive chatter. (Remember, we guys don't do it often, so enjoy.) I wrote most of my book's sequel during NaNo last year, and since my critique partners now claim it's better than my first one, I guess maybe I do write well under pressure.

Johanna Garth said...

I saw that you finished on Twitter or FB or somewhere...all this social media is tarting (nice typo I'm leaving that one in to make you smile) to blend together! CONGRATULATIONS! HOORAY!!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Go you! And congrats to the hubby!
Also, i am SO PUMPED for BuNoWriMo tomorrow! PUMPED!!!

Talli Roland said...

Aw, that's so sweet that he wanted to share! :)

Good luck with BuNoWriMo!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congrats on hubby's new job! That's awesome!

And your daily word counts are awesome, too!

Yes, I'm working hard on a couple of deadlines. Ack!

Michael Di Gesu said...

I wish I had you infectious energy.... I have been zapped of mine for a few weeks with allergies and a blasted cold.

I AM SO HAPPY for your accomplishments. I am honored and proud to be a royal subject of Her Royal Tartness!

Good luck in ALL endeavors.

Helena said...

Congrats big time to you and hubby both for all your hard work and accomplishments. Me? I work better under deadlines, but I don't stick to them as much as I should.

Hart Johnson said...

Alex-thank you! And yes, pressure=good!

Johanna *snort* YAY for tarting social media!!!

Sarah-YAY! So glad you're excited!

Talli-sweet yes... not my plan, but sweet...

Elizabeth, thank you on both counts! and good luck with the deadlines!

Michael-sorry to hear about the zapped mojo! And you're a FABULOUS minion! *pinches cheek*

Helena-yeah, I think a lot of people are like that... better with them, but don't carve them in stone...

CA Heaven said...

I'm a deadline worker, no doubt. Now my deadline (one of them) is to complete my novel by the end of June. Or actually, my first deadline is to get my hold of visa tomorrow morning, before 10 am, and get on the plane to Moscow at noon.

And I cleaned the bathroom yesterday too >:)

Cold As Heaven

Marjorie said...

I'm Excited about BuNoWriMo, but I am also very nervous. I have now convinced myself that my story will be utter trash.