As any of you who have read my previous posts will know, I'm not a huge fan of editing. In fact, if I can find an excuse to not edit (such trying to decide on a new desktop for my computer...because that's oh so important...) I will do it. Take, for instance, this very blog post. While I may have to have a blog post up by midnight tonight (or risk being turned into a pumpkin...don't ask...) I didn't need to do it right now. I am, though, because I turned the page and stared in dismay at all the purple marks.
Another thing I've never been good with is arbitrary deadlines. I like to set a dead line for editing (Like, say, the first ten chapters done by the fifth of December) then let it pass by with a shrug and perhaps a comment about how I can make up the time later.
So now it's the 18th, and I'm still working on those first ten chapters. (Yes, I do realize how pathetic that is.) Unfortunately I happened to go on the ABNA site the other day and realized that I do, in fact, have a very solid deadline. One that I have been ignoring, and basically telling myself that I have lots of time to do it. When I saw that January 23rd, suddenly I realized that my math wasn't working. It may seem like a lot of time, but I have a lot to edit. And putting it off was just going to mean that I would end up with a second rate book in the contest, rather than something I can show off with pride.
Last year my submission was the first novel I ever wrote. I wrote it during nano, in the first two weeks. It was just barely over the 50k mark, and I edited it in a month before submitting it to the contest. I made it into the top 250 of 5000 in the YA section of the contest. This year, I wanted to do better.
I was doing well, too. The book was written over two months, with me giving it more thought than I did the first. It had far more planning and world building in it. I even submitted the first few chapters to my critique group and have beta readers all lined up. Unfortunately I put off the editing for so long, that I'm now in the same boat I was in last year. This is going to be one of the quickest editing jobs ever, and it's all because of Procrastination.
There's really nothing I can do about that now, though. I have to just get down to it and get this book edited. I have to stop procrastinating!
So I did the only thing I could think of. I gave myself a deadline, then asked other people to hold me accountable. My beta readers, to be precise. I told them when I wanted to have my chapters to them by, and told them they had free reign to bug me for them, criticize me if they were late, and generally make a nuisance of themselves until those first ten chapters (which will end up being 9 chapters, as two of the chapters were amalgamated...) in their drop boxes.
I think it's working. I'm not done (obviously) but I'm much closer than I would have been if I didn't know there were people who were going to yell at me if I didn't get these chapters sent out by midnight. But what I need is for someone to take away all of the things I use for procrastination. This would just be an experiment, as I'm fairly certain that, even with everything taken away, I could still find a way to procrastinate, but it might work for a while.
Didn't think so. Oh well, time to get back to editing now. See you all next week!