Today is July's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.
In my ISWG post back in January , I fretted over my painstakingly slow progress and worried aloud that my book would never get finished. I set Christmas 2012 as my target completion date and promised to give you an update of my progress in June. Well, it’s July and it’s time for that update.
Since this an Insecure Writer’s post, you’ve probably guessed by now that the news is not good. Unless some sort of miracle occurs – an accident in the lab where I ingest a chemical mixture that turns my brain into a writing machine, I lose my job and spend my time sitting at home with nothing else to do but write, someone writes a piece of software that can take a rudimentary rough draft and convert it into publishable prose at the click of the mouse – I’m not going to reach my goal. Not by a long shot.
Out of a thirty chapter first draft, I’ve only managed to give my critique partner the first four chapters. That’s less than a chapter a month. You don’t need to be a math major to know that isn’t going to cut it. To be honest, the lion’s share of this time was spent rewriting the first two chapters repeatedly to fix a structural problem my CP was kind enough to point out, so I expect things to move along more quickly now.
But I’m still in trouble.
And this brings me to this month’s insecurity. Every time I load up a chapter to send to my CP – a chapter I thought was in good shape back when I wrote it last year - I’m shocked to discover just how much more work it needs before I can send it out. I’m not talking cosmetic changes here. I'm referring to missing paragraphs replaced with the words “mention XXX here” or “describe the character” marked in red. Entire pages that need to be rewritten to align with changes I’ve since made to the plot. Scenes that need reordering. It’s gotten to the point where I’m more comfortable spending hours tweaking a chapter I’ve already sent off to my CP than with moving on to the next chapter and having to discover just how much more work it needs.
To help give myself the illusion of accomplishing something, I’ve added a progress bar to the blog to track my manuscript. It’s rudimentary and I may jazz it up a bit later, but it’ll do for now. Its purpose is to
Have a happy 4th of July (for those of you in the states)!