Posted in Writing

An Hour A Day

If you know anything about me, you know that I work on one writing project after another. I alternate working on multiple projects at once. I get a lot done on these projects. But when it comes to editing, it’s a slow-going process. Sometimes it’s non-existant.

My plan was to have my mystery novel 100% edited by the end of this year and start querying it in January. I did really well working on it at the beginning of the year and then somewhere I got lost along the way. Or my novel got lost. I don’t really know.

Needless to say, I’m taking a break with that one. I hate to say it, but I really need to re-evaluate my plan to tackle that novel. There’s a lot more to figure out than just “editing” it as far as research and deeper plot holes go.

Writing mysteries are hard. I love it, it’s fun, but there’s so much information to remember and to figure out when writing each mystery. And since my novel is the first in a series, I feel the need to figure out the rest of the books before I can fully understand the first mystery. It’s a little hard to explain, you’ll just have to trust me on that one.

So maybe that novel will be ready by December 2017. Because I’ve decided that George and Lilah need a vacation. So I’m not going to look at my manuscript until January 2017. If inspiration happens to strike, then I will most definitely put that to good use, but for right now I’m going to take a step back and then look at it again as though I’m editing the first draft in January.

I know I said I was going to have my sister look at it, but I’m not even going to do that just yet. Maybe next summer.

So, the point of this whole post (now that we’re over 300 words into the article) is that Kris and I had one of our quarter-life-crisis-things when it comes to our writing.

I try to make deadlines for myself and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In the end, I know the deadline is “fake” because it was set up by me and I have no one to answer to, except me.

But the reason I do so well with NaNoWriMo is because the deadline is “real.” I have to give my manuscript to someone by the end of the month. That someone being the NaNo validator, but still, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Plus, NaNo is kind of like a competition. And who doesn’t like a fun competition?

So Kris and I decided to commit to one novel each. We both have a novel that’s mostly written, but the first draft isn’t quite finished.

For me, it’s The Lost Girl. I wrote 58,000 words of the novel back in April for Camp NaNoWriMo, but the actual story wasn’t complete.

I know I wrote a post a while ago saying my plans were to finish the novel, edit it in the summer, and then post it on Wattpad in November or December. Well, this may come as a shock to you, but I haven’t touched that story since the end of April.

I was focused more on why George and I couldn’t get along and then when I finally threw in the towel for that one, I decided to work on short stories.

Anyway, Kris and I are going to hold each other accountable for our novels. She committed to her fantasy novel and I committed to The Lost Girl. We’re going to work on our manuscripts for at least one hour each day and finish our first drafts by October 1st. Including today, that gives us 32 days, 32 (or more) hours to finish these drafts.

Then, on October 1st, we’re going to write each other letters about our manuscripts, things that we think need work, what we need to edit or research, the works. Then we’ll swap manuscripts and the other will read and critique it. We’ll set a deadline for that and then we’ll go from there.

It’s still a deadline set up by me, but I have someone to answer to other than myself. My manuscript will be leaving my hands in a month even if it’s just going on the desk across from mine.

I think this will work.

How are your writing projects coming along? Let me know in the comments! 

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

15 thoughts on “An Hour A Day

  1. It’s great to have that accountability. I’m part of a group of writers and each month we pledge a word count then it’s a competition about who can hit their word count the fastest (sometimes how far you can push past it!) I’m glad you guys are doing this. Happy writing Rache!

    1. That sounds like fun! I’m part of a writers group as well, but it’s more of a critique group. Which is fantastic, but it’s laid back so if I get stuck on my writing, I just don’t submit anything.

      1. Well at the end of the day, you are responsible for your writing you know. Which is why it’s great that you’re putting things in place to help you. Hope it all goes well.

  2. The buddy/being held accountable system should work, Hon. Good luck with completing your first novel to be published. Like babies, the first is the hardest to get out !

  3. This post came at a great time. I have been trying to figure out what to do with my own series that I am writing. I have seriously been stuck on it for 8 years now. I think I need to push it out of my mind and sit it on a shelf until January and work on something else. Such a fantastic idea!
    I also love the idea of having a writing buddy to hold you accountable. I need to find me one of those. lol
    Good luck with the writing!

    1. I hope this works out for you! And I hope you can find a writing buddy to help you through this. It’s not fun, but it’ll work out.
      Thanks, and good luck to you as well!

  4. I’ve found that I respond well when I know I have someone else to answer to. When I was nearing the completion of my first draft, I sent and email to my alpha readers saying that I was almost done and that they could expect something from me in the near future. Their responses were both encouraging and motivating for me. I think it’s okay to lean just a little on other people for that 🙂

  5. That sounds like a plan. Another thing you two could do was set up challenges the other must complete should they fail in their task. You pick something Kris would do and she picks something you’d have to do. That way, you have further incentive to complete the task. 😉

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