Creating Deadlines

Scrivener corkboard plan novelIf you had a look at my old writing resume, you’ll have noticed that in the last two months I’ve been focusing on submissions. And this week, I attended a local writing group.

I used to be part of a creative writing group at college, and then another one at university; but in the last two or three years I’ve let it slide – happy to chat on forums and hang out with a fellow writer instead. Rather than working on a piece until it’s polished, then beginning the next, I’m flitting between works.

For example: Today I’m editing a 1000 word piece for May, proof-reading Planes Shifter ready to give to my first beta-reader next week and planning what I’ll add to Shadow Sight this weekend.

Deadlines

A lot of the opportunities I’ve been writing for are rolling; with no specific deadline, but just “send in something decent and we’ll see if we like it”. Even the competitions or magazines with deadlines are for ‘three months in advance’. This means that in terms of prioritising specific pieces or making sure I write things at a pace that allows me time to draft, revise and proof-read requires creating my own earlier deadlines.

So I decided that I need to get Planes Shifter to my beta reader by the end of April. I made the decision that, having written 500 words of this 1,000 word piece, I can edit it until it’s a complete first draft. On a whim, I made a decision on Monday that I must submit one of my dormant (but thanks to last weekend, now polished) pieces off to a magazine by the next day.

As a writer early in her career, it can be easy to get discouraged. But I know that for me, keeping the momentum going – even if that means keeping the rejections pouring in, will give me the strength to keep trying. If I let myself fall into “it’s not perfect yet” and keep my work held tight, I know I’ll never let go.

EDIT: Got Planes Shifter to my Beta Reader on the 14th April. Now onto editing Planes Walker!

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