I work well under pressure. Deadlines are motivators for me and I usually do my best work when I have a definite, non-negotiable timeline. No room for procrastination or distractions (see yesterday’s post). Just get ‘er done.
This, however, has not worked well when it comes to writing. I tell myself it’s because the creative process needs time to simmer, room to breathe, opportunity to grow. That’s true in a sense, but it’s just an excuse. A big fat excuse to be lazy about it. Oh come on, stop shaking your head at me. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
So, I made a decision.
I am going to finish The Bond of Seven and submit it to a writing contest – due date: June 15th. Of this year. Yes, I know. That’s less than three months away. Twelve nail-biting weeks from yesterday.
I am well aware that it is an aggressive goal and I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I need to do this. It’s time to jump into the pressure cooker and churn out my best work. I know myself. I know that without a target date – a real one, not just something I pull out of a hat – my work will continue to simmer on the back burner indefinitely. And if you will allow me to say it, this story is way too good to leave it unpublished.
The Bond of Seven is pretty much fully developed in outline form, and a good many pieces of it are already written and ready to plug in, so theoretically speaking, it should be easy. Did I just say easy? Perhaps it will be. I pray it is.
Yesterday I took my own advice and settled myself in a local coffee shop for two hours without my laptop. The end result was six pages of hand-written scribble . . . a brand new opening chapter for the story. I was ecstatic! That first chapter has been written, rewritten, and written again so many times that I was sick of it. Nothing felt right. Yet, all it took was a pencil, a notebook, and a very noisy, crowded environment to come up with the perfect beginning. I went home and typed it all into the manuscript, quite happily saving the file as version 12.6 (12 being the year and 6 being the number of attempts since January 1st).
I am on a roll.
The heat is turned up.
The pressure is on.
And I am giddy with anticipation!