So, the first draft of the novel was completed as of 2/23/16. Deadline to send it to the developmental editor: 3/6/16. My personal preference? I hate being late, so I generally try to get things in a little early, mostly to reinforce to my latent OCD. So late is not an option.
That meant I had to take the novel from first draft (37K words) to ~45K words – my second stage goal. No, the book is not done yet – not by any stretch – but I wanted it layered enough for the editor to take a look and make revision suggestions before I go back for another rewrite and expand it some more.
Disclaimer: I make no claims as to the quality of the manuscript. Also, no claims as to any expertise other than how dumb I was to attempt something like this in such a short period of time. Making bad choices? I'm a level 11 certified expert.
So. 12 days to revise the book. 160 pages divided by 12 = 13.5 pages/day. Should be easy, right? (Spoiler alert: This scheme doesn’t work well if you have a day job.)
Let’s count those days down and see what happened.
12 days to go: Back at work, trying not to make mistakes because my brain is fogged from 4 solid days of writing. I have a hung-over feeling, minus alcohol the night before. Editing tonight? Bwahahahahaha! NOPE.
11 days to go: After work, barely made it through the first chapter revision, then gave up and stared at TV for an hour, still kind of numb.
10 days to go: Got 2-3 hours of revisions done that night. Still behind on the pages/day. The other problem? IT KEEPS GETTING LONGER. Pages/day calculations get bigger the more I revise. The finish line keeps moving further away.
9 days to go: Friday, yahoo! Uh oh. Sick. Started feeling like death at around 2pm. Finally got the crud after seeing 7,230,102 sick patients this winter. To bed at 7pm.
8 days to go: Boom goes the dynamite! Back from the dead. Re-edited first chapter, then got another 40 pages or so. This took me about 6 hours.
7 days to go: Another 40 pages. Ok, so I’m halfway through the edit, factoring in the fact that the end point continues to move.
6 days to go: Monday. Nuttin’ honey. Worky work and no writing tonight.
5 days to go: 2 hours of editing. Made it to page 90. This is not going well. Beginning to panic.
4 days to go: Driving 5 hours to teach at a medical course. 6pm meeting, got to hotel at 8pm. 3 hours of editing. Late night.
3 days to go: Frantically reviewing notes to teach this obstetrics course since I didn’t prepare a super lot, because…writing. Good news is I taught the course a few years ago, so I can wing it if need be. Editing 1 hour total during breaks in the course, and then another 3 hours in the evening, which made for a very late night.
2 days to go: Have I mentioned panic? I’m only on page 110, and my endpoint is currently 180. While teaching workshops on maternal resuscitation, part of my brain is thinking, Oh my gosh, when will I have time to edit? Drove back 5 hours that evening, the whole way I’m thinking about how much I’d like to be editing. Got home at 8. Managed to squeeze in a few hours of editing before I couldn’t stay awake any more.
1 day to go: Ok, focus. No surfing the internet. No social media. Got up at 7, thanks to the cats. Wrote until 1pm in panic-induced altered state of reality. Made it to “the end” at just under 47K words, and just under 200 pages.
Hit “send” and relaxed. Holy cow.
Bonus list: Things I did not do during the past 3 weeks.
#10) Spend as much “nothing” time talking and hanging out with hubby.
#9) Laundry. (thank you, hubs)
#8) Take call. TBH, there would be zero way I could do that much writing during my 7-10 day call block.
#7) Train for marathon. This is no joke. Ok, here’s what’s obvious: I only have the energy for 2 out of these 3 things: work, write, train for marathon. Work is not optional. Zero energy left over to do 5-8 mile runs. And if I run like that, I can’t stay awake to write late at night. Might need to downgrade to a ½ marathon…
#6) Clean. At the end of this stretch, the scuz in the bathroom had evolved to the point where it developed sentience. And that’s not a good thing. Took care of it with toxic levels of bleach applied with extreme prejudice to all surfaces.
#5) Marketing. I can either write/edit a lot or market. Cannot do both in the time available.
#4) Queries for another book. Nope. Same reason. Literally every spare second was spent writing or editing.
#3) Sleep. Except for the night where I had to sleep off the bubonic plague, my normal nightly sleep time was around 6-7 hours. Dr. Jill does not recommend.
#2) Do fun stuff with hubs. He’s a really understanding guy. It helped that I gave him permission to go ice fishing as much as he wanted during all the weekends.
#1) Think up new book ideas/revise other manuscripts. Are you kidding me?