The Rentable Writer

Friday, June 30, 2006

Setting your own deadline

I've just realized and done something that I think is really important: I've set myself a deadline. I've been working on my novel for one year as of July 4th. I've been working on the plot for two years as of September 26th. The current draft of my novel has been in the works since January 22nd. And I'm sick of anticiapting querying. I've got query letters waiting to be printed, SASEs waiting to be sent back to me, and mailing envelopes that want to be used! Coming into the summer, I said to myself: I'm going to use this time off to finish my book. I'll have it finished by August. And I really did think that was realistic. I could finish the bulk of a novel in three months.

But now I've realized differently. I'm going to finish this novel by July 15th, commit two entire days to perfect editing, and then begin the query process. Here'll be my schedule (if everything goes right):

June 29th-July 15th: Finish novel.

July 15th-17th: EDIT. EDIT. EDIT.

July 17th-18th: Prune and edit my query letters. Make sure everything is perfect. Check facts with the book, with the agent's website, and with my personal information.

I'm planning on getting it blurbed. Hopefully that won't take long. I want to query by the summer's end. Then, I'll have to wait and see from there. I have to get this all done over the summer. I should wait until the fall/winter, but I can't. I was hoping to get a few blurbs, get the results for the writing conest I entered ... but I'm not going to wait. The sooner I query, the better.

So, I've set the deadline. The novel better be done by then. In fact, I shouldn't be blogging now, I should be writing. The Internet is my biggest distraction. Maybe I'll update later tonight. I love deadlines (unless I don't control them). They make me work harder and better.

Edit: I've missed the 'weekly writing round-up.' I've decided to do it whenever I find new blogs.


  • Good for you. Targets are always a good idea, and I think it is wise to be around when you send queries. Responses can come anywhere from hours to week after the fact.

    Plus, you might have a brainwave on holiday and come back and want to tweak a few things before firing them off.

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Sandra Ruttan, at June 30, 2006 12:57 PM  

  • Thanks!

    I love the idea of querying my work, because it means I'm letting my work go into the world. Its existence may become real to more people than myself. It means all this writing is amounting to something. Most nights, I lay in bed for a long time, thinking of what it would be like to hold my printed novel. (I never put a cover on it in my mind; it's always just a blank, white cover. Don't want to get my hopes up, and then get something that I don't like much.)

    By Blogger The Rentable Writer, at June 30, 2006 1:07 PM  

  • Awesome! You have a plan. And a deadline. You can do this. I agree with Sandra that one needs to be available when you've sent out queries. Responses can come quite quickly and you don't want to miss them. Best of luck to you!

    By Blogger Serena Joy, at June 30, 2006 4:20 PM  

  • Plans are good things. Go for it, RW! Keep us posted on the query process when you start in.

    I've finally gotten out of first gear, but now I have to do "real" work instead of write... *sigh.*

    By Blogger S. W. Vaughn, at July 01, 2006 10:50 AM  

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