This week started with me desperately trying to finish a 5000 word urban fantasy story that I was planning to submit to the Common Thread Short Story Competition. The competition doesn’t allow for email or online entries, so had to be posted and arrive no later than Friday 15th April. Obviously, that made for an incredibly tight deadline. I had until 5:00pm Thursday 14th to have my story completed and posted. And on the Wednesday evening, I’d written 3500 words but was only halfway through the story, and I still hadn’t decided how it was all going to end.
Wednesday afternoon involved me heading to the library to write. I’ve discovered that there are a lot of benefits to writing on the library computer, rather than at home. These include:
- No children to distract me every 5 minutes.
- No husband ditto ditto ditto.
- No housework that I “need” to do right now.
- No kitchen full of tempting treats, coffee, alcohol, etc etc etc.
- No internet access
Essentially, there is nothing to do except sit and write. And that’s it. Without the various distractions and opportunities to procrastinate, I was able to write another 4000 words in only an hour and a half, and complete the story in a way that I was really happy with.
One small problem.
You may recall that I had to write a story that was between 3500 and 5000 words in length. However, anyone with a basic understanding of maths will realise that my completed story came in at roughly 7500 words. Welcome to Thursday night: Editing!
I was honestly not convinced that I would be able to remove 2500 words (1/3 of the work I’d done) and still have a piece of work that I would be happy with. After 3 hours of editing, I hadn’t changed my mind. Although I was down to 5800 words. I went to bed and slept on it, and then Thursday morning began the process all over again. In the end, it took me until 1:00pm Thursday to hit 4987 words. Success!
I had my husband read it, and he said that he couldn’t tell that I’d removed anything, so that was a win. I posted my entry off, and then breathed a huge sigh of relief. As deadlines go, I cut that one pretty fine. Sure, there wouldn’t have been any real negative effects to me not entering, but if I’ve set myself a deadline then I like to live up to it.
After the final rush, I then spent the next couple of days breathing deeply, and not wanting to write at all. By the time I was ready to go, I set down to start work on a 3500 word story for the Lorian Hemmingway Short Story Competition. I had a strong idea, and wrote 700 words in my first writing session. Then I went away, thought about it, and realised that I had the wrong mood. So I deleted it and started the story again. I managed to get about 200 words written, and then….. nothing.
(As a side note, may I say that if you’re looking for a way to procrastinate for hours on end, you really can’t go past the hilarity of Failbook.)
So now it’s Wednesday again, and I have a lot of writing ahead of me. Talk to you next week!