Do. Not. Procrastinate.
According to the Chinese zodiac, my animal is the rat. Now I’m not superstitious (and the idea of being a rodent who climbs through sewers isn’t the most appealing) but the key characteristic of the rat is that they don’t like to spend money and I must be one of the cheapest people on the planet. This intrigued me. If it knew that, what else did it know? So, I read up on what my animal meant for me within the Chinese zodiac this year. I couldn’t say I was suddenly swung to believe every astrology premonition but, I was hopeful. And a little scared.
“The Rat will have the chance to seize rare opportunities in 2019. The only challenge is not to procrastinate as once the opportunity is passed it rarely shows again.”
There it is. Procrastination. My ultimate enemy. Yes, this statement spoke to me on a personal level because procrastination, ladies and gentlemen, is my downfall. It was my downfall in November during NaNoWriMo and has been my downfall pretty much my entire life. I started the first draft of my WIP last July and planned to have it finished by the end of last year. (NaNoWriMo being the push I needed to get me there). Yet here we are, nearly a year later and the first draft is only half done.
I mean is it really all my fault. Like now. Right now, a brown pigeon just landed in front of my window. Brown. How many times do you witness a brown pigeon? Huh? What’s that? Right my WIP.
Finish my Novel.
Yes, so my big goal for this year is to finish. Finish the first draft of my novel. Start the second draft. I know to some (okay, a lot) that doesn’t seem too much. But alas, with my attention span of a goldfish (which actually, I think is a rather rude analogy because my goldfish were quite intelligent and when you shook their food at the side of their tank they would follow you for… well more than two seconds. Huh? What’s that? Right my WIP.)
To finish my WIP, while still being reasonable, I’ve chosen to write 1,500 words on the weekdays (as I’m still at a full-time job), 3000 words on Saturdays and on Sunday she rested. I’m also trying out a new technique. Well new to me. The pomodoro technique. Write for 25 minutes, rest for 5, after 4 25 minutes, rest for 30. Hopefully this will help with my attention span. I’ll keep you posted.
I’m also entering my very first Camp NaNo. Fingers crossed this will go better than my first NaNoWriMo last November and I’ll be able to stay on track. I’m being more realistic than my last attempt and because Camp NaNo lets you choose your target, I plan to focus on time rather than words. For the month of July, I plan to spend 31 hours on my WIP. That’s just 1 hour a day. Well 1 hour on the weekdays, 2 on Saturdays and on Sunday she rested. I know it seems low, but like I said I’m trying to be realistic. I work a full-time job so I don’t have much time on the weekdays. Plus, I get sleepy. Plus, plus I don’t want to let my camp mates down…
Edit my Novel.
Another way I’m planning on completing my first draft is to not look back. That’s right no (or very little) editing. By continuing with the story instead of going back to edit means I can continue with my story. I know. I’m a genius. Instead of changing things I know need changing right away, I am leaving comments and creating notes for my next draft. Due to this, I’ve substituted the phrase ‘first draft’ for ‘full outline’. So, my first draft will be my full outline. My second draft will be my first draft and so on.
I know doing this approach means I’ll have a big editing job in the future. There are already many scenes that need to be completely changed. However, I think (I hope) this will be easier than writing fresh. I have already started to organise the first part of my novel in Scrivener and plan to comb through my WIP scene by scene. I’ll keep you posted.
It sounds long and tedious and it will be, but I’ve always been better at editing. At this stage I should have a clearer vision on what I want to achieve. I’m actually looking forward to it.
For now, wish me luck and happy writing.