As someone who put the “pro” in procrastination, I am outing myself on internet blast to meet two deadlines regarding the revision of my coming-of-age manuscript. I completed the first draft six years ago. Now, with the encouragement of friends who are wonderful writers and an interested agent, I need to polish the next draft.
For writers everywhere avoiding the work that qualifies you to describe yourself as a writer, come walk with me. With our bowed heads and stooped shoulders we will wander wordlessly seeking the light. Wait! Do you see that ahead? A glow of hope fueled by deadlines.
The first deadline is courtesy of National Novel Writing Month, which just happens to be November. Day 3, and I’ve yet to revise a page, although I have been thinking about it constantly. But thinking isn’t writing. So I signed up last night to participate in the contest, which calls for a 50,000-word (175 page) manuscript by midnight Nov. 30.
The second deadline is courtesy of the James River Writers, an awesome organization in my own backyard that I grow increasingly fond of with each newsletter. The Best Unpublished Novel Contest 2011 has a Dec. 15 deadline. You must have a tie to Virginia to enter your first 50 pages. The entire manuscript will be requested if your work passes the first round of judging.
Writing from the gut and the recesses of my heart and soul challenges me like nothing else.
Not one to shy from confrontation, tonight I will duke it out with my fear of failure. I will stomp rejection and whip her best friend Miss Doubt. It promises to be an exhausting evening. But even if I have to pull an all-nighter, I will write a few pages. While many sleep, I will briefly celebrate my short-lived victory. Because fighting the battle to write the magic words is constant, elusive and consuming.