May 13th, 2003


One Year Later: A Kind of Failure

Be a good girl
You've gotta try a little harder

--Alanis Morrisette, "Perfect"

On May 12, 2002, I wrote about 500 words on my novel-in-progress, "Prophecy". It was the first time I had written anything on it in at least eight years. I'd been working on it for a little while prior to that -- constructing an outline for it, mostly. But May 12 marked the starting point of writing it.

On May 19, 2002, I made a contract with myself: a two-year plan specifying numerous little details of what I was going to do to get this book written. One of my goals: Write 125,000 words in the first year.
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Me 2012

The Future

Another thing on the Master Plan(tm) that I'm supposed to do this month: work out how much longer this puppy's going to be.

It seems capable of expanding indefinitely. As if I write more and more on it but never get any closer to finishing. Rather tiring, really. Still, I think I'm going to stand by my December 2003 date as the rough-draft-completion goal. That'll be another 60,000 words or so. Even with me taking off June.

I'm not going to work on Prophecy in June. The Master Plan(tm) allows for me to take off a month from writing after I've hit 100,000 words. I passed that point in April, and was going to take April off despite the deadline pressure in May. (Which I flubbed anyway, but that's all in the past now.) Anyway, I worked through April, I'm going to keep working through May, on the theory that I'd take June off because my two-week vacation from Toddler Bank is in June. So I wouldn't have to be writing while I was on vacation. Hurrah! This was a huge nuisance for me last July, and I am not eager to repeat it. Fine. I won't. It's not even a breach of the Master Plan(tm).

I've toyed with the idea of modifying the Master Plan(tm), but I've decided not to. If I was going to be writing the rough draft for another year, I'd change that year-end goal, but, heck, I've only got six and a half months of writing to go. (I know I can do this.)

May, I have recently recollected, will be a short month for writing. At 112,500 words (ie, next week) I'm supposed to do my work-on-outline thing. Which I am going to do because my outline desperately needs work. Or I'll stitch together book. Whatever, I'll do something to make me feel more like I have a book on my harddrive, rather than a huge mound of unrelated scribblings. Anyway, I'll only have to do 7500 words instead of my customary 9500 this month. Which means I really need to get cracking this week because I don't want to leave it all to the last mintue (again!) On the bright side, that's only, hmm, 6000 words left this month, I have to do 1500 this week for quota (I've never blown a weekly quota and don't intend to start now), which brings me to 4500 to do in the last week. If I put it all off to the last minute again. Still, that's less rushed than my end of April was, even in the worst case.

And then I'll have a month off to relax and let my muse play around. Poor boy's been slinking around me all morning like a whipped dog. I'm not mad at you, baby, there now. 6000 words and we can both have a well-earned rest.