I have a deadline coming up. Not from a publisher or an agent or anything exciting - indeed, one that was self-imposed – but a deadline nonetheless. And I am in danger of not meeting it.
It’s my fault, of course. I set a date to have my first draft finished by (August 6th), without setting mini-deadlines along the way to make sure I was on track to meet my major one. And, like everyone, I have procrastinated. I joined Camp NaNoWriMo in June to try to up my word count, only to fail miserably by writing approximately ten percent of what I was supposed to. I made excuses. I wasn’t inspired. I just didn’t write.
Now I’m about 30K shy of my goal (to allow for major cuts and still have a decent word count for the finished piece) with three weeks left in which to do it. NaNo all over again, in a way. I think I have enough story in my head to do it, but the danger of procrastination always lingers. Sure, school is going back this week which means I will have much more time during the day, but I’m sure I can fill that time with useless other things like, say, cleaning or gardening. In other words, everything else that has suffered as I’ve been idle.
Things are looking up, though. Yesterday at about 3am I had a great idea for a new character who will hold things together much better than they would have done without him. He even has a history and a religion and everything, which is unusual for me because I often leave religion out of my writing. The downside of being an atheist, I suppose. I also have some great scene ideas which again make the story much more fluid and believable. Really, I think I can do this if I put my mind to it. The trouble is putting my mind to it.
Where has my inspiration gone that enabled me to win two consecutive NaNos? Where is my lust for writing? Where is the desire to see the words “The End” in my manuscript? I’m afraid that I’m losing my passion for this story, which would explain the lacklustre progress over recent months. Yet, I still think it’s worth finishing. It’s a weird kind of internal conundrum.
Naturally, some child-free hours can theoretically work wonders for my word count. With the kids either asleep or at school I can, potentially, kill off a couple of thousand words a day, which will reduce my 30K shortfall very quickly. I CAN meet this deadline, I just need to motivate myself.
Wish me luck!