There are goals and then there are commitments.

In October I posted my sort-of intent to participate in the NaNoWriMo madness. (National Novel Writing Month for those of you not yet tuned into this annual event.) And because it wasn’t an actual commitment, I of course fell well short of my pseudo goals. The reality behind those goals?

1. Write. I did not write every day. I enjoyed the spring-like weather of the Lehigh Valley with hikes and gardening and perhaps simply basking in the sunshine. I wrote sometimes because that’s what I do—but not prolifically.
2. Finish. I do have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But only 26,000 words. And even now at 77 days, my first draft is not even close to completion. But I am persevering.
3. Focus. Writing my mystery was constantly—well, almost constantly—on my mind. But it was not even in the race for being my primary job for the 30 days of November. Or the 31 days of December. Or the 16 days thus far of January. But I am tracking my progress.
4. Caveat. It’s not likely that I will have a completed manuscript–not even in the rough–by July as I had kind of aspired to.

But I will keep moving ahead and finish this first painful draft.

Then I will submit my manuscript for developmental editing. I will restructure the plot and character development based on the recommendations.

Then I will submit it for copy editing and adjust my formatting and style–and accuracy–accordingly.

And I will then submit my improved manuscript for line editing. I will tweak my grammar, punctuation, spelling, consistency and word usage based on my editor’s input.

Then I will read the manuscript aloud, mark it up, and edit again.

And yet again.

These are commitments.

All good things each in their own time. Perhaps I will be like Aesop’s famed tortoise and win the race through perseverance. In that case, of course, the hare is the part of me who fails to meet my NaNoWriMo half-hearted goals, stopping to smell the roses along the way. Or dropping whatever I’m doing for a spontaneous outing. Or whatever. The tortoise is the part of me that will keep crawling slowly but steadily toward the goal post and finish the race.  With finesse, of course! Eventually.

How did you fare with NaNoWriMo?

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