You might have noticed the 4-week challenge on my sidebar, where I've been tracking my progress through my current manuscript. As you can see, my goal was to reach 70,000 words by the deadline (which was yesterday), and I made it, squeaking past the finish line around 9:10 pm with 137 extra words.
The challenge was Tristi's idea, and I'm glad I hopped on board, because it gave me the motivation and the accountability to keep moving forward, even on days when it didn't feel possible.
The problem now is that I still have to keep going on this book at the same pace, and Tristi's challenge is over. Now what?
The way I see it, I have two more challenges ahead.
I'm hereby instituting my own 4-week challenge, beginning today, October 10th, and ending on Wednesday, November 7th. Again I'll track it right here so that I'll just have to get it done to avoid embarrassing myself in front of the blogosphere.
Then I'll have edits and revisions to do, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas to stop by. Won't THAT be fun? Actually, I did this last year, too, and while it was a bit crazy, I did manage it.
Here's my goal for challenge #2:
By November 7th I will have this book fully drafted. At this point I'm shooting for about 95,000 words, which would mean 25,000 words need to be written between now and then. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping, this story doesn't go longer than that, or my challenge will be up a creek.
Assuming I reach my goal, challenge #3 will kick in: Turning in this puppy to my new editor (Hi, Kirk!) by Christmas.
After drafting, I'll spend a few days polishing, dusting, and fixing before printing it out for trusted readers to go over and hack to pieces on my behalf. I'll be doing the same to it (and likely to theirs; several of us are in the final stretch).
When I get their feedback, I'll spend a few weeks rewriting and revising before my self-imposed Christmas deadline. (I have readers asking me to write faster to get the Manti book out. See, people! I'm trying, I'm trying! This will give it a shot to come out next fall. Ish. Assuming I feel good enough about the final product to turn it in on time.)
At which point I'll collapse, wrap some presents, decorate a tree, curl up with some hot chocolate and White Christmas (Christmas ain't Christmas without Bing) and not even think about writing until the new year.
Or not. It's hard to turn off that side of your brain when it's been running full-steam for so long.
But maybe I'll take a couple of days during the break to get my kids' photo albums at least sort of caught up.
In the meantime, I'll leave up the old 4-week challenge results for a few days, just so I can see it and think, "Ah, I did it!" but I'll also have a new one tracking my word count from 70,000 to finished manuscript.
Wish me luck.
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