Justine: My Plan for Finishing The Damn Book

deadlineI’ve been out of my story, and out of my character’s heads, for quite awhile now. Since the beginning of July. It wasn’t really intentional – we went on vacation, which was promptly followed up by RWA, and the last week and a half I’ve been gearing up for the start of school for my kids.

There are advantages to being out of my story, the biggest being I see it with fresh eyes. The other advantage is it makes me realize I want to quit working on my current book and get on with the next one. It’s like an albatross around my neck. And so, as Rachel Beecroft, friend and frequent commenter dared suggested, here is my plan for Finishing The Damn Book (tempered by a Reality Check):

August 14th EOD

  1. Complete the outstanding critiques I need to do (5 or 6 of them) and turn them in to their respective owners.
  2. Review the last 5 or 6 chapters I was working on before my hiatus and have a game plan for what stays, what goes, and what needs to change.

Reality Check: kids are starting (new!) school, I still have PTA stuff to finish up, we’re having part of our house painted, and I have lots of doctor appointments that I’ve been putting off.

August 21st EOD

  1. Send two chapters to my critique partners.
  2. Write whatever “needs to be there” from #2 in the previous week.
  3. Clean up whatever stayed from #2 in the previous week.

Reality Check: This week is when the real writing begins. And during that time, we are having hardwood floors laid this week and a new back door put in. *sigh* Fortunately, #2 and #3 have to happen before #1.

August 28th EOD

  1. Make edits from previous week’s critiques.
  2. Send three chapters to my critique partners.
  3. Read ahead a few chapters to plan out what stays, what goes, and what needs to change.

Reality Check: I have shockingly little on my calendar for this week, except our monthly RWA chapter meeting, so I’m taking advantage of that, blocking out my calendar, and making a hard push. Plus, my husband is traveling (easier to work at night).

September 4th EOD

  1. Make edits from previous week’s critiques.
  2. Send three chapters to my critique partners.
  3. Read ahead a few chapters to plan out what stays, what goes, and what needs to change.
  4. Revisit the first few chapters and the feedback I received from Orange County Chapter of RWA (OCCRWA) contest. Identify what I need to change.

Reality Check: Right now, there’s nothing on my calendar. I’m going to keep it that way.

September 11th EOD

  1. Make edits from previous week’s critiques.
  2. Send two chapters to my critique partners.
  3. Revise what I identified in the first few chapters.
  4. Read ahead a few chapters to plan out what stays, what goes, and what needs to change.

Reality Check: It’s a holiday week. This might be pushing it. Then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

September 18th EOD

  1. Make edits from previous week’s critiques.
  2. Send three chapters to my critique partners.
  3. Read ahead a few chapters to plan out what stays, what goes, and what needs to change.

Reality Check: The kids have a half day that Friday, but they’ll be dying to do the school’s after-school program (they loved it at their old school). I may get a few bonus hours this week, but it’s uncertain. That said, hubby is traveling, so more time to work at night.

September 25th EOD

  1. Make edits from previous week’s critiques.
  2. Send (what is hopefully the LAST) three chapters to my critique partners.
  3. Begin reading the book from the beginning, making notes on what has to change.

Reality Check: Another light week (so far). Just my local RWA chapter meeting.

Okay, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t scoped out my schedule any further (to “FinishED the Damn Book”). Two months is more than enough for me. Life changes on a dime (husband traveling, kids sick, I’m sick…you get the idea). If I can commit to these deliverables each week, I’m doing FREAKING fantastic. So that’s my goal.

I’ll report back each week at the end of my blog posts so you can “keep score.” I may make adjustments depending on how fast or slow things are going.

For now, it’s going to be heads-down work mode for me. More to report next week!

11 thoughts on “Justine: My Plan for Finishing The Damn Book

  1. Comprehensive schedule, Justine! I’m thinking it’s probably time for me to do short- and long-term writing/publishing planning. Right now I have lists, which isn’t really keeping me focused.

    • I have lots of lists, and all they do is pile up on my desk. I figure setting hard deadlines for myself is the way to go. I have to meet them, I’m holding myself publicly accountable, and I don’t want to let myself down. Or anyone else who is rooting for me!

  2. That looks like an intense schedule, but with some peace and quiet, you can do it! I’m crossing my fingers that there won’t be too many disruptions for you.

    • Thanks, Nancy. On Wednesdays, the kids have a half day, so I think I’m going to save those days for the non-writing things, like hair appointments, dental appointments, doctor appointments. Oh, and massage appointments! That will hopefully free up much of the rest of the week for writing tasks. Plus, I won’t feel guilty for not writing on Wednesdays!

  3. Pingback: Justine: The Road Map to… | Eight Ladies Writing

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