Here's something you should know about me. I am the Procrastinator. Not a procrastinator. The Procrastinator. I am the queen of waiting until the last minute, selectively remembering a task, or finding something completely unimportant to do instead of my very important thing I should be doing.
I need a deadline. Give me a date and time. I'll be there. Give me a, "Whenever you get around to it," and I'll never get around to it.
Even though I need a deadline, what that really means is I'll put it off until the last possible second, pull an all-nighter to get it done, and then wipe my brow with self-satisfaction. Disaster averted.
I've known for months that I am going to enter my book into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Months. I wrote this novel in November for goodness sake, and I've known since then that this puppy was going to be entered into the contest.
My dad and aunt are also writers, so we edit each other's manuscripts. I have had almost three weeks to review and edit my manuscript with the critiques from my editors.
The contest opens tomorrow night at midnight. Yesterday morning I woke up with over 40 pages left to edit. Ouch. That doesn't sound like a lot, but considering it took me 3 weeks to edit 120 pages, that number felt like Mt. Everest.
Editing is not the same as reading. It's basically like taking what you wrote, pressing delete, and starting over with someone else's suggestions (as a reader) ringing in your ears.
Ok, it's not that bad, but you do end up deleting a lot and writing a LOT. In the course of my edits, I wrote an additional 13 pages of story, equaling almost 5,000 words. To sit down and write 13 pages is not hard for me. But to spread that over 165 pages (meaning a sentence here, a paragraph there, an explanation squeezed in...), that was hard. Really hard. Not to mention time consuming. (My computer chair has permanent hiney indentations I think.)
So, what does the Procrastinator do when she realizes she has a deadline looming? She makes crafts. What else? She watches a movie. She reads another book. She spends the day with her sister-in-law. And then she waits until her family goes to sleep and then sits down in front of the computer to edit until the wee hours of the morning. Either that or until she goes cross-eyed (which usually happens around 12:30).
Oh yeah, and there's the "other" stuff. You know, being a wife and mother. I still have laundry, dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming to do. Library books still need picked up and dropped off, groceries need bought. Seth still needs fed, bathed, clothed, loved, read to. He still has doctor's appointments to go to and puzzles to do with mommy. Tyler, while arguably more self-sufficient, still needs listened to and occasionally fed. He needs attention and to know his wife hasn't disappeared. She hasn't been sucked into the black hole of the computer monitor.
This morning after editing for a few hours, I heard, "You want to go play in the snow? Maybe mom will come too."
That's code for: We are going outside and you are coming with us.
This evening I was so close to finishing I could taste it. I had 3 pages left, and I put it down to eat dinner or something. I don't even remember what it was. Tyler was acting a little like a grizzly bear with a thorn in it's paw. I asked him why he was upset and he said something like, "I thought I'd been pretty good about letting you finish your book. I haven't even complained!"
It's true. He's been so good about hiding in his bedroom to watch CSI reruns or playing Angry Birds on his phone so that I have time to edit. He's been a jem.
When he made that comment tonight, what he was really saying was, "I want my wife back!"
Aw. Thanks honey. You'll be happy to know I finished and plan to enter that puppy in the contest tomorrow night. Maybe this week I'll get to bed before 1am. Who knows. A girl can always dream.