It’s a good thing I’m my own boss. Sometimes I don’t know what I want to accomplish, other times there’s more to do than I can realistically get to. I am forever changing what project I’m working on, which for some could be a hazard, but for others a benefit.
This month I was going to work on the edits for my memoir and get that done. But recently in my email inbox I received a reminder for a novel contest deadline with a mid-March deadline. I decided I would try to get a synopsis (yikes), the first chapter properly formatted, and a headshot of myself prepared for this contest. No problem. Right?
I decided this with only about two weeks before the deadline and it is now looming. Last week I worked out a rough draft of the synopsis that looks pretty good. And then I worked on the first chapter, deleting the boring parts. Yes, unfortunately I had a few of those. As soon as I get this done and off my ever changing to-do list, it’s back to the memoir edits and the usual monthly book reviews. This week I had three reviews due, to squeeze in around the contest work.
Luckily, I have the freedom to make these changes and don’t have anyone breathing down my neck to get projects done. Which makes it good and bad for me. I love the freedom to choose most of my own deadlines, but it’s also nice to sometimes get them from others, to keep me on track.
The writing life is full of these give and takes, and choices to make. And that’s why I love it. As long as I’m making progress—I can’t write a novel without sitting down and writing—I know I’m working toward my goals.
And if by chance I get past the first round of the contest, or even if I don’t, it has been good practice working on a novel synopsis, editing, and following specific rules. It will be great to get feedback from someone who hasn’t lived and breathed this novel for the last several years and to get other eyes on it who can give suggestions for improvement.
I don’t know any other job I could do that is this much fun and this much work at the same time. But I’m thankful to do it and try to give it my best.