My goal this month was to revise Spirited In Spite and submit it to a novel contest. I knew that I had a lot of obstacles to overcome in the goal. I started doing the work in December during the holidays and nothing kills my productivity like running the Holiday Gauntlet. I knew I was going to Chicago for a birthday weekend at Cubs Con, which meant getting any work done would be pretty special. I saw those challenges and was willing to face them head on in the name of getting this manuscript entered into the contest.
However, what I didn’t count on was my bad memory and ability to underestimate things.
See, I had notes written up for the revisions/rewrites of Spirited In Spite. It’s how I do my manuscript revisions. I read through it and make notes. Looking at the notes, I thought I had more to work with than what was actually there. In other words, there was a lot more rewriting than revision required. Shortly before I left for Chicago, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to make the deadline. There was just too much work to be done and not enough time to do it, particularly to the satisfaction of entering it into a contest.
I’m continuing with the rewrites, of course, and I’m hoping to finish them this month. I shouldn’t have any more interruptions for the rest of the month and if I can write 60,000 words in 3 weeks, I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing this rewrite before the 31st. I do have notes, after all.
In a sense, I’m really writing a new first draft when doing these rewrites because so much of the manuscript is being rewritten. In fact, I’d say at least 75 to 80% . And when it comes to writing a first draft, I just write as fast as I can and don’t look back.
I’m disappointed that I didn’t realize sooner that revising this manuscript for a contest would be a lost cause. A Tale of Two Lady Killers was probably in better shape to be done and I might have actually made the deadline with something worth submitting. But these are the kinds of mistakes that I tend to make. I get an idea in my head, think I know what I’m doing, and then too late realize that I’m clueless or that I missed a much better option due to tunnel vision. It’s something I really do need to work on.
But, at least at the end of this whole mess I’ll be one more step closer to having a legitimate finished manuscript on my hands to do with as I will.
There’s always another contest.