Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Can't Resist a Good Smackdown

Earlier this year I set a goal of revising two (2!!) manuscripts over the summer. These pups are first-draft chapter books that, once upon a time, I got paid to write. But because the original publisher lost its production budget for the line of books they belonged to, they need a new home. I want to give the books a new life, too.

Last week at this time I'd made no formal plan to actually start my revisions. Oh, I'd had the printed manuscripts stashed in my bag for a while. (Er, has anyone seen that bag? Seriously. HAS ANYONE SEEN IT!?!) But "summer" still seemed a lot like "later" to me.

Well, official calendars be hanged, summer IS here, and we all know it. Now is the time to make good on my own revision threats. And lucky for me, I am not alone in needing to follow through. I get to share the experience with a fab group of like-minded writers participating in the Summer Revision Smackdown, a month-long revision event masterminded/hosted by Jolie Stekly and Holly Cupala. (Thanks, you two!)

This challenge popped up at the perfect time for me, so I decided to take it as a sign to get crackin'. No slackin'.

My goals for Smackdown Week 1:
  • get reacquainted with my manuscript (yes, that's manuscript singular; I have no business planning two revisions at a time)
  • make big-picture notes about what I think needs to happen to take the story to the next level (did I mention that I think the draft is a bit shaky?)
  • implement any super-easy-and-clearly-beneficial changes I see right off the bat
  • create a manageable revision plan for the rest of the month using either iWork or Notebook
  • report Week 1 progress to the Smackdown group on Friday
All this has to be done on breaks from my regular writing and editing work (read: project work dictated by paying clients' schedules) . . . and in addition to what I'm considering an "extra" summer writing gig (read: low-paying-but-fun project I want to do and so I'm handling it after hours in order to keep up with better-paying work during normal workdays). Oh, and don't even get me started about my real-life summer plans and how I probably can't do everything I want to . . .

But. I can do this! Hey, I figure the Smackdown goals are mine for the setting.

This is the type of thing I tend to put off and off and off because the only one benefiting from the work is me. I'm ready to break that habit!

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