For the last year or so I’ve been writing short stories on a deadline oriented basis. All but two stories (I think) written during that time were created with a particular venue in mind. And as such had a very specific deadline attached. The good news is that I completed the work and submitted at or before the deadline in nearly all of those cases. The bad news is that because I don’t have a hard and fast deadline for my novel, it has been continually pushed to the side.
Last night I finished a draft of another story with the deadline for the anthology being February 28th. The countdown is on to get it revised/edited/tweaked/etc. Then I found two anthologies that want submissions end of May/beginning of June, both of which I’ve already mentally committed to concocting ideas for. But as much as I enjoy the challenge of taking those submission calls and crafting a story that fits the requirements, I am going to attempt to switch gears for a few months.
Beginning Monday, in addition to the time I’ll spend revising my newest short story I am going to buckle down and take a good hard look at revising/editing Hush, my novel. And since I seem to work better when I have a hard and fast deadline, I’m going to lay out my current plan for Hush’s editing right here.
By April 1st – Have a revised and self-edited version of Hush completed and ready for my wonderful wife and alpha reader.
By May 1st – Have changes made based on alpha feedback and have a version ready to be seen by beta readers. (Of which I have a couple in mind, but definitely will need more feedback.)
By June 20th – Have a copy ready to send to a vetted/hired a content/developmental editor.
From then on, the process will depend on the amount of necessary work with and from my chosen editor, so as much as I would like to put hard dates on further production goals I’m going to pass.
Nose to the grindstone. Why? Not because I want to be done with Hush. Although a part of me does. But because after seeing the hard copy of my story published in a magazine most recently, I want nothing more than too see Hush in my hands and the hands of friends/family/readers.
And just for the sake of entertainment … a great quote from Douglas Adams on his feelings about deadlines.