Friday, July 27, 2012

Squirrel Syndrome

by Mary Sutton / @mary_sutton73

Or as one might call it "Ooo shiny object! Must go play!"

So here's the deal. The first middle grade book I wrote is off in search of cover art. I know that in the world of self-publishing (or even publishing in general), a key to success is having another book ready to go. So that's what I should be doing, BUT...

An idea for another romance is tugging at my mind and heart. That's where my writerly attention has been and I'm just getting into a good groove, laying down 1,500-2,000 words per day. BUT...

I just got feedback on the story I submitted to the Music City Romance Writers "Minuet of Love" contest last June (no, I didn't make the finals). And some of it is really good. Some I would have caught if I'd done (yet another) read through things I've learned and become aware of in the intervening time. So I want to go and fix it.

See where this is going?

I know I'm not the only writer who feels the distractions of the "shiny new object." But really, I know if I succumb to that feeling, I will never get anything done. And I have to get things done. I mean really now. I can't always rely on someone else's deadline to keep me on task.

So I make a resolution. I am going to finish the "crappy first draft" of my current work. Then I will write the "crappy first draft" of the next middle grade book. After that, we'll see what I do.

Why not make a "to do" list of six things? Well, life is unpredictable. Swim season is coming to a close, which means my kids will be around a lot more. And with school approaching, there's going to be shopping that needs to be done. With so much probably distraction, planning my next five things is most likely an exercise in futility. I learned as a project manager it is ususally a bad idea to have concrete plans more than a month or two in advance. Because stuff happens. Count on it.

So I have my goals. Finish this draft in the next two weeks (I'd say week, but I'm going on vacation next week and I know there will be lots of distractions there). Then finish the next draft and choose my next goal. This will work.

But -- ooo, shiny!


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