What happens when you decide to create your own writing retreat to power through the revision of the last 1/3 of your novel? That's what I'm finding out this weekend.
I missed my own deadline. I'm not even sure what the first one was, frankly. Or what number deadline the one I missed most recently was. All I know is that I've been a full-time writer since November and the draft of Elegant Freefall still isn't ready for other people to read. I'd set a deadline of March 30, and I did make progress, but as of yesterday, I only had about 40K of the manuscript revised.
With Dr. D off at a conference as of this morning and gone all weekend, I have the first multiple day span of time alone with the book I've had since June of 2017. While I had a day job, I was much more capable of and willing to protect my writing time from work time. And, my schedule was much more solo--80 hour work weeks for Dr. D meant a lot of time for me to focus on my writing when she was at work or passed out wherever she happened to come to a full stop when she got in the door.
This isn't a complaint in any way; instead, it's a bit of background on why I'm hiding this weekend and putting in hours at my desk. I've had some good days lately where I work on the revision for a couple of days in a row, but often I get distracted by life in general and wind up working every other day.
In a nutshell, my writer's retreat is all about reading and writing (including revision). Here are the basic rules:
1. The TV is likely staying off. I am consuming media, though, in the form of writerly things. Interviews with writers on YouTube? You bet. Podcasts like DIYMFA Radio? Of course! And, I'm going to finish the first Phineas Trout novel, as well as read more in Alone with All That Could Happen and other craft books. I spent time this morning while waiting for the electrician perusing the most recent issue of Poets & Writers.
That kind of consumption is perfectly legal. Just no mindless TV. A well-crafted movie? Sure. Especially if it has writers in it or is based on a good book.
2. If I didn't get it done yesterday, it will wait. Specifically, I took time yesterday to migrate my novels from CreateSpace to KDP and pulled my eBooks from all retailers other than Amazon. I also updated my Twitter handle, made sure my social media links were correct for my FB author page and Twitter, and cleaned out my following list on Twitter. Anything else I come up with as a "project" or that is related to things other than Elegant Freefall get jotted down in my notebook for later.
3. I will not get distracted by the kitchen. As an enthusiastic cook, I often put off work by trying a new recipe or trying to create one. I have leftovers in the freezer and salad greens. No culinary experiments or stalling.
I'm not guaranteeing that I won't "need" to run to the store for something, but I think I'm covered. I need to thin out the salad greens in the raised beds, anyway.
That's pretty much it. I did get side-tracked because the breaker blew on our pool immediately after they fixed the pump, so I spent the morning waiting around on the electrician to finish up, but by lunch time I had landed in my chair and started working (post dog-walk, of course). My results today:
And that's more than I had done yesterday.