Friday Write-Day: Goal – Time = Pressure!

fwd-goal-time-pressure

Time is unforgiving. We always like to say that we have time, but I don’t think that’s true. I think time lends itself to us, giving us the opportunity to use it to our benefit or squander it.

Manuscript: Beta of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento moves forward, although not as quickly as I had hoped, mainly because I just haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to it as I’d like.

Revising the Revision Plan

My initial plan was to push myself to get this thing revised and rewritten by the end of February. With a projected word count of 180,000, that would have had me writing about 3,000 words per day. Now, I didn’t expect to actually write 3,000 words every day, but I thought that if I could make up for lost time over the weekends it wouldn’t be that far off of a goal.

Two weeks into my revisions, my beta manuscript sits at 16,000 words and change. I have written all but two days over that span, and my first few chapters look way different.

I am not disappointed with my progress in the least. Splicing and re-writing sections of the first couple of chapters has taken a lot of time and consideration. It’s just frustrating when I want to be working on this story eight hours a day, and I simply can’t.

So I’m pushing back my deadline (again) to the end of March. That gives me a much more manageable daily word count goal of 1,400.

Under Pressure

As you can probably tell, I have put a lot of pressure on myself to get this novel finished. I still want to publish by the end of 2017, and I don’t think pushing my beta revision deadline to the end of March should drastically impact that goal.

But the pressure is real, at least to me, for two main reasons:

1) Back in college, I set a goal to publish at least one book by the time I turned 30. I’ll actually turn 30 in 2018, but publishing a book a year before a goal I set when I was 22 will feel pretty good.

2) I just got married, and I try to balance my writing time with spending time with Present Wife and our dog. (He’s very needy.) Present Wife fully understands and supports my writing ambitions, which is awesome, but I don’t want to disappear into my writing and neglect my family or my friends, for that matter. We are both fairly social people with a tight circle of friends who are basically our extended family. Those relationships are vital.

The other part of this is that we will likely start thinking seriously about kids in the next couple of years. I’m a pragmatist, and the simple fact is that I will not have nearly the time I do now to dedicate to writing once we have a baby.

So yes, writing and publishing The Warden of Everfeld: Memento and its semi-sequel The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy is my priority right now, because I will have other, much bigger priorities in the medium-term future.

Which begs the questions for all of my published author friends on here with families and children: where the hell do you find the time?? Seriously, I’m interested in your writing-work-life balance. Let me know in the comments!

… come on. You know I couldn’t resist throwing in one of my favorite songs of all time!

Steve D

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