Now that I’ve finished a draft of my book, I need a new deadline.
Or maybe I should call it a goal. Deadlines, in my mind, aren’t flexible, which is both a blessing and a curse. Missing deadlines makes me feel guilty — I am a journalist, after all — and I rarely meet the self-imposed deadlines I’ve set for writing this memoir. Since this is my first book, I never know how long writing a scene or a chapter or a section will take me, and each one tends to take longer than I guess.
Which brings me back to my original point. I need a deadline for revision. When should I expect to be done?
I’d prefer to set a goal that’s too soon rather than too late. And there’s a date that’s coming up I can’t pass up: January 1. The first day of 2010! That gives me four weeks, which seems reasonable considering I’m already partway through this process because I edited and revised as I wrote the first draft.
Of course, finishing this revision isn’t the end of the road. Once I’m happy with the book, I plan to hand it over to a few friends, writer and editor types, who have offered to read it from beginning to end. Based on their suggestions, I’ll revise again.
And then, my friends, the book will be done.
UPDATE: As a few readers pointed out in the comments, I mean done as in ready to submit to literary agents. If that pans out, I’ll have more revisions ahead of me.