Monday, 28 September 2015

Making Time to Write and Revise

In my last post, I said I was going to enter a contest.  Having a goal would motivate me to get revising some work I had set aside. I've got lots to gain from making a commitment, by writing the deadline on my calendar.

The days of September slipped by, filled with the day to day realities of back to school season with four school-age children. New shoes and backpacks, forms to fill out and open houses to attend. Schedules to keep track of and homework to guide.

Of course, the tasks of my work demanded attention as well.  Telephone calls to make, interviews to conduct, reports to write and classes to teach.

September was getting away from me and the deadline loomed.  I was not going to have time to prepare my contest submission.

Last week, however, a gap suddenly appeared in my schedule when a planned event was cancelled. Behold! An opportunity!

So Friday night I checked into a hotel near my home.  I prepared my work area and settled in for a solid rest.

Saturday morning dawned bright with hope.  I worked from 8 AM to 2 PM, fueled by coffee, almonds and raisins.  I made it halfway through the first draft, editing and revising as I went.  A shower and a quick trip out for some pizza, and I was back at the desk by 3:30 PM.  I happily worked until 1 AM, finishing the second half, then adjusting and adding in scenes to build up my characters and the plot.

Another sleep, this one restless with ideas, and I was ready to begin again on Sunday at 8 AM.  I tinkered and fiddled with words and phrases until it was almost time to check out.

Today, I am taking a rest day - catching up on other items on my to do list, like this blog.

Tomorrow, I will make time to go through my story one last time.  I'm sure there will still be room for improvement, but the deadline looms.

I will make it.  I will be ready to submit a novel draft, 55,000+ words of a story of love.

The first prize is $5000.00 and a publishing contract.

5 runners up will receive an iPad mini loaded with stories.

Whether I place in the top 6 or not, I have already won.  I made time in my life for this work that I love.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Why Enter A Writing Contest?

It came to my attention today that there is a current open story-telling contest.  One that I am eligible to enter! The Second Annual Authors First Novel Competition is on.  The prize includes $5000, a book contract, an iPad mini and a year's worth of books.  That all sounds very exciting!

The contest opened in March 2015, and it closes September 30, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.  Submissions must be a minimum of 40,000 words. Authors from anywhere in the world are invited to submit unpublished works.

Why am I considering entering - scanning my September calendar for time I can block off for writing - with the deadline looming so close?

I figure I've got nothing to lose.

I suppose if I don't win and I am not one of the 5 runners-up, I will 'lose' my $50.00 entry fee.

What do I have to gain?

Right now, I have three projects that are between 50,000 and 75,000 words, more or less complete first drafts. These works have compelled me enough to see them through the first stage and I am still pretty interested in them. But I am a busy person, running a business and parenting a bunch of kids.  I don't always make time for writing as I make calls, attend meetings and do business between cooking, chauffeuring and cleaning.  Especially writing that takes the level of concentration required for editing and revisions.

So, what do I have to gain?

The opportunity to set a goal: Edit and revise one first draft enough that it might be submitted for this contest.  Without a goal, I find it hard to get moving.

The option to work toward making writing a priority in my busy life. Writing satisfies my soul and I want am worthy of nurturing.

The chance to share one of my stories.  I love to share my stories.

What about you?  What have you got to gain by entering a contest?