A new deadline

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.

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8 Responses

  1. Good luck with the January 1st date. It would be a nice way to start off the New Year. You may, however, need to be prepared to revise one more time – after the book is accepted for publication.

  2. I was going to say the same thing Jane said. Just to warn you. Good luck with the goal. I shall drink copious amounts of coffee if it helps.

  3. Oh, but of course! I guess I should have specified… last revision BEFORE I submit to agents.

  4. This is so exciting! Is it too early to say congrats?

  5. I think that’s a fine revision deadline. It’s always good to start the new year off with a bang. And to have your book revised (the first time) would be a great burden to have off your shoulders as you go into the new year. I have a similar goal for my book. I’m editing it for the fourth time and will then hand it back to my editing buddies. THEN (finally) the submission process will begin.

    Best of luck to you!
    Jen

  6. Hi Alexis,
    It’s a great goal,January 1, that is. But be prepared for more revisions after your readers get through with it. Good luck. Following along on this journey with you is great fun!
    Karen

  7. That is an excellent deadline 🙂
    I’m actually shooting for the same on my 2nd poetry manuscript revision, so I’m joining you in the trenches!

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