If you have read our ‘About’ page, you will have noticed that all of us Write Romantics are members of the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme and, as such, we have an August deadline for submission of our manuscripts, in order to receive feedback from one of the wonderful published writers who so generously give up their own precious time to help us on our way.
People like me must be the bane of the fantastic NWS organiser, Melanie’s life. I have been in the New Writers Scheme for two years and on both occasions have managed to butt against the deadline with a last minute submission that is literally falling on to Melanie’s doormat in the final moments of the time allowed. I never mean to be that inconsiderate, but I am like those luckless grooms on “Don’t Tell the Bride” who spend ages dilly dallying around unimportant stuff, before hurriedly buying the bride’s dress in the first shop they come to on the day before the wedding.
I give myself the excuse that I work better under pressure. But do I really? Perhaps I would already be published my now if I took a bit more of a disciplined approach to my writing. So, this time around, I have decided to become my own Sergeant Major. I will write a thousand words a day (minimum) – no excuses! So no matter how much I am tempted to watch Embarrassing Bodies or The Big Body Squad (can you sense a theme here!?), I’m not allowed to until I have written the minimum quota. No more procrastination for me…
It is doubly important this year, as I started late. Edits and submissions of my first novel, have eaten into the writing time for the second (excuses again, moi?), so I was facing a partial submission. However, this time I intend to write a YA novel and I am looking at around 60,000 words. I started my writing ‘bootcamp’ on Monday and, so far, so good, I am at 9,500 words. At this rate, I should have a first draft finished in May and be able to submit gloriously early – which for me means late July or early August (instead of the 31st)!
I am not sure yet if this will improve the quality of writing and I know it is early days, but I feel motivated by making this contract with myself and by my inner Sergeant Major. So how are you all doing? Maybe you don’t have an NWS deadline, but something else you need to ‘hit’? Maybe you’re ahead of the game and a deadline queen or king? Of perhaps like me, you need to harness that inner Sergeant Major? In any case I would love to hear how it’s going for you and may the Gods of the muse be with you!