Current Project: A short story for an anthology set in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage world.
Title: Untitled (seriously)
Due Date: April 1st (seriously)
Upper Word Count limit: 8000 Words
Word count to date: 21,525 Words (seriously)
Days remaining: 18 days
I am two days from the self-imposed deadline I had set for myself to have this story done and ready to turn in. Being done two weeks early seemed like a reasonable thing to do.
“It’s an 8000 word story,” I told myself. “That’s certainly doable.”
The new goal is to have the first draft done by the 15th.
This gives me sixteen days to trim the story down from whatever it ends up being word-count-wise to 8000 (or less) highly polished words.
Yeah. That’s kinda how I’m feeling. I’ve been feeling this way since about the first of March.
The days go by and I see the word count getting higher and higher (I’m having nearly 1000 word days on a pretty regular basis–practically double what I usually get down in the morning) and I find myself thinking things like:
“There’s no way you can pull this off.”
“What made you think that you can do this? This story–which you haven’t even got a title for, yet, for gods’ sakes–has got to be the most awesome thing you’ve ever written just so that you can stand in the same room with the rest of the authors in these books and not get laughed out the door.”
and (my favorite)
“You’re not doing enough.”
This is despite having written the numerical equivalent of nearly three stories of this length. Despite the apparent leveling-up that somehow, despite myself, happened.
This is my inner heckler doing what he does best.
Not quite working in tandem with my inner heckler, but as equally unhelpful is the part of me that sees April 1st approaching and goes into a blind, “ohgodohgodohgodwritewritewritewrite…” panic that wouldn’t get me anywhere.
I’m not late. I’ve got eighteen days–over half a freaking month–before the story goes in to the editors. Yes, I want it as polished as I can provide. Who wouldn’t?
But I need to keep the voices at bay.
To that end, I’m going to start posting regular updates about where I’m at with the story. Ideally, I’d like to do a day-by-day countdown. I think it would be good for me to see the progress I’ve made when the anxiety kicks in (and it will) and hopefully one of you reading this will find it useful.
I’ve heard stories from writers I follow about the deadline getting too close for comfort. Some are humorous, some are inspiring, some are kinda scary, but they’re all told after the fact.
What I want to do is show what the day-to-day is like. I don’t expect it to be pretty, but I want to shine a light on the work, on the effort it takes to get there.
When I’m done, maybe someone out there who is going through the same thing can see this and realize that keeping at it, that sticking it out and telling the voices that tell you “You can’t do that” where they can shove that kind of crap, is worth the effort.
Time: 11:35-ish (Modified for Daylight savings Time *grumble*)
Music: AC\DC – Highway to Hell