Deadline Failure

23:17 Wed 28 Feb 2007
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I didn’t finish the second draft of my novel. I didn’t even come close; the third chapter remains, unbowed, yet to be edited.

However, I’m also unwilling to abandon the whole thing.

I meant what I wrote in January, and I still feel that way, but I’m not willing to give up on it without more of a fight than I put up in the last month.

I’d be more willing to do so if I’d made a serious effort and failed to get there. But I didn’t. I’ve distracted myself with entertaining visitors, socializing, work, coding, and so on.

I have a mode of determination/obsessiveness that I’ve just never managed to get into for the editing. For the first draft, I did it via the doing-every-day approach (which obviously works well for me) and then the set-a-deadline approach (which often works). But nothing I’ve tried so far works with the editing.

Somehow I can’t get editing-every-day to actually happen.

Which is not a reason to stop, or to give up. I need to find whatever is required to get into that “just do it” mode, and then stay in that mode until it’s finished.

I really, really, really want to get past it. It’s a big psychological weight on me, and I am getting increasingly eager to be out from under it. Hopefully that eagerness will translate into positive action sometime soon.

I have at least sketched an outline of the third chapter and how it should be. I may be forgetting other monstrous chapters that I have to get through, but the third one certainly seems like the worst right now, and it still feels as if the struggle with that chapter is the key in the completion of the second draft (although there will clearly be other tough points along the way).

Anyway. I’ll still get there. It’s taking far longer than I would wish, and it’s deeply frustrating. But getting through it will happen, and it will be a good thing.

No deadline three as yet—I’ll set another when I need it.

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4 Responses to “Deadline Failure”

  1. garret Says:

    Put the whip away, young man, you’re causing a draft! Not a third draft but a breeze that can cause neck ache if one was to sleep under it.
    The Holy trinity=writing reading and editing.
    Writers must do all three, get on with it you lazy git!. Check out this article best read whilst eating a sandwich.

  2. garret Says:

    Stephen King says: Second draft = first draft -10%.
    Garret says: Buy red pens and kill your darlings.
    John Lennon says: I am the Walrus.
    God says: Nobody listens anymore!
    Jesus says: They never did dad!
    Burt Reynolds says: Moustache it’s all in the moustache.

  3. Tadhg Says:

    Nice article. Also, my second draft will probably be more like first draft minus 40% or so. Which is probably for the best.

    No wife, no horse, no mustache.

  4. somebody Says:

    hey i liked how u put suppense in to it it makes it interesting… nice work lol :)

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