Throughout my career I have had to meet deadlines. I can’t ever remember missing a deadline but I can’t ever recall meeting a deadline with days to spare. If you’re like me, you’ll know that last minute is not fun! It awakens the adrenalin and the creative juices flow but it also means the rest of life goes on hold, sleep has to wait in the wings until the writing stops and, worst of all, I often feel that if only I’d had more time … well if I’d had more time it would’ve been better, more polished and just perfect wouldn’t it?
Well would it? I think that, without a deadline, I’ve been writing my novel for far too long. The parts of my novel that I’ve gone back and changed time and time again don’t read any better than the parts that I’ve edited and then left alone. I’ve come to the conclusion that we can polish our own work only so much and then it needs a fresh pair of eyes to read it and comment and give us a more objective opinion.
With that new thought in mind, I have decided that I’m giving myself a deadline of finishing this novel by the end of July and letting fresh eyes read it. I can already predict that the last week of July will consist of takeaways, an overflowing washing basket, no social life and little sleep but it will be worth it to be done with the MS. I know it will not ready for publication but, it will be ready to be aired and reviewed. Scary!
What am I scared of? I’ve shared my writing on a daily basis all of my working life and yet I’m keeping this novel to myself and the main point of writing is to share with others. I think it is the thought of sharing something that is so important to me. It is the fact that it is fiction that has come from me, not a factual or opinion piece. I’m going to have to dig up some bravery and persuade my sensitive side to come out of hiding.
A deadline I DID make this month was my ‘one man show’ publication. ‘The Old Edwardian’ is the newsletter for old boys and girls of my secondary school that I was persuaded to edit a few issues ago. In spite of many requests for news or articles, it is all written by Chrissie the editor with a few suggestions from the committee. I now understand why the last editor jumped ship! I can’t say I love doing it, but it does exercise my writing and publishing skills and it is something that gets read by a large readership ( or gets thrown into the recycling after a swift glance at the headlines and pics).I also do it because I love all the folk on the Old Eds’ committee and wouldn’t want to let them down. They’ll be part of a novel of mine one day because they’re a diverse, weird and wonderful bunch.
I’m feeling happy because now I’ve met another deadline of writing at least one blog a month- and it is only 18th!. I feel a halo glowing as I type the last full stop.