Monday, April 5, 2010

Finishing the Next Book

While I've finished more manuscripts than I've sold, this is the first manuscript I've finished since I sold last August.

It's taken a while, mainly because when I sold IN PLAIN SIGHT, last August, I had to make some changes to the book, then several rounds of edits, then galleys, then promotion. That pretty much wiped out September, October and November.

Back in Sept. 09 there was a call for submission within the Scarlet Rose line for manuscripts with a special theme called "Cowboy Kink".

In December I came up from air from my first sale, and an idea sparked for the Cowboy Kink book for The Wild Rose Press. The lucky thing for me wast I had two weeks of vacation at the end of December from the day job.

While not all the days off were spent writing, I did write because I had my own self imposed deadline. I worked toward the deadline with excitement and a little bit of apprehension, because this book was pushing my own boundaries.

The book seemed to write itself, and by the middle of January I'd finished the rough draft. Then I started in promotion for IN PLAIN SIGHT, my first Scarlet Rose book. This gave me a chance to distance myself from my newly written book.

It wasn't until Mid-February that I was able to get back to the manuscript and begin editing it. It was amazing what the distance and a great workshop by Donald Maass had done for me, I realized I had to make some massive changes.

I put in place another self-imposed deadline, and missed it by a mile. That bothered me because I'm usually very good with my deadlines. I sat down with myself and started looking at where my time was going and why I missed my deadline. There were several different factors, only a couple of them were within my own control.

I set a new schedule and a new self-imposed deadline, and went back to work. I made the next deadline which happened to be March 21st. I promised my critique partners I would have the book to them by then so they could read the entire manuscript and give me feedback.

This taught me I can keep my own self-imposed deadline, and reminded me that I'm the only one who can make my writing the number one priority in my life. I'd done this before, I had to remind myself about it.

And this was a timely reminder for me, because this is my career, I've wanted to be a writer for a long time. My day job is still there, but in another couple of years I can retire, and write full-time, but now is the time to get my priorities straight, now is the time to put that discipline in place I'm going to need later.

One of the things to remember is: If it is important to you, you'll make time for it. Be it time for your writing, spouse, children, parents, painting, friends, exercising, etc.

It's your choice.

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