Today marks three months of being self-indulgent on the internet*. You’re welcome. For those of you keeping score from the beginning, you’ll recognize that means that today is theoretically the day by which Harper Voyager ought to have sent out their affirmative missives regarding their open submission back in October. In between obsessively updating my email inbox and checking my spam folder (and finding both conspicuously empty), I made an intelligent decision and checked their blog. As it turns out, they’ve changed the rules completely. Now, instead of assuming silence is an outright ‘no,’ I can assume silence is a lingering ‘maybe.’
It’s funny; with exception to occasional bouts of obsessive email checking over the past months, I’ve mostly been trying to ignore that I even submitted something to a publisher. It’s nerve-wracking, honestly, both the possibilities of success and failure, and I’m not certain which terrifies me more. I’ve distracted myself with blogging about television and cooking, reading books, job hunting, participating in NaNoWriMo for the 4th year running, sewing, knitting, building cabinets in my house. Everything short of skydiving has crossed my distraction radar. Until today it was working. Today I’m nervous.
But back to the title task, my post-National Novel Writing Month check-in. I’ll be honest–since 11:59 on November 30, I more or less haven’t even looked at my project. I took a couple weeks to make holiday gifts I couldn’t afford to buy, paint a couple rooms in my house, relax in the tub with a string of good books, and make up some quality time with the much-ignored boyfriend. This downtime has become a pretty standard part in my process; I like to put my work down for awhile and get some distance, so I can return to it with fresher eyes. After all, there’s always something to change/improve, right?
Phase 2 will be dumping the meandering word document into Scrivener and hacking it apart with ruthless zeal. I like to highlight, color-coding for ‘must go’ and ‘must keep’ and ‘must revise’ and ‘must read aloud to friends so we can all have a good laugh at my expense.’ This is where I’m going to pour over all my Civil War resources, make detailed notes, and try to get the history half of my historical fiction right.
The problem here is that the story I want to be working on involves characters from my Harper Voyager submission. I want to go back to that world, take another pass through that manuscript and get to work on its successor because I’ve still got so much more in my head for those characters and that world. It looks like I’ll be shelving 2012’s NaNo in favor of returning to my bigger, older project. My 2013 is off to a pretty fabulous start, so I’m filled with optimism and productivity. I wish you all the same.
*I’ve been self-indulgent on the internet for as long as I’ve been on the internet, but I’ve been writing this blog for three months. Don’t get cheeky. That’s my job.