Crawling in Sprints to the Finish Line

Finishing this manuscript was challenging in ways I just didn’t expect. But, after many ten and twenty minute writing sprints where I watched the word count slowly creep up, I can finally say that the first draft of MS:L is complete!

This last week, the last week of writing this manuscript, proved to be a really difficult one. I try (sometimes better than others) to be realistic about the amount of time I have to finish a project. When I align and realign my goals, I try to keep in mind what’s happening around me, what my family needs, what I will need, and then get my writing time in where I can. The problem, especially this week, was that the schedule changed so much on things I just hadn’t taken into account and things I didn’t know were going to be an issue, became an issue. I hadn’t planned on a migraine to absolutely tank my productivity for two full days last week. I didn’t realize doing the dance between remote learning and in-person learning was going to consume most of mental power the other days. Add coming off of a holiday and celebrations within the family and every word I squeezed out was a struggle. Some of it was great reasons to be away from the writing, but the bottom line was I wanted to get this manuscript complete, and I needed my full attention to do it. So, I fought the distractions and the different things that took my time and got the story done.

Now that this manuscript is complete, it is time to let it rest. I know I need time away from this story before I go back to it and try to revise it. Mostly that is because I know I see a story better after I’ve been away from it for awhile, but the main reason is that I want to devote my full attention to the two stories I intend to query next. While I love MS:L and am excited to go back into that world later, it is not the first manuscript I want to publish. MS:D and MS:TS (and MS:SB though it has had the rounds with agents and needs some time to marinate) are the stories I want my readers to know first. Those are the stories that my writer’s heart lives with. Those are the characters that I know need to be known by my readers. Those stories are the ones that ring the truest with my author identity and it is time for them to have my full attention. With MS:L out of my system and on the page, it’s time to focus and give them my pen to paper power. I’m going to start with creating a series guide first, which will involve me taking information from both stories and creating a structured guide. Once I have that done, I’ll be going into each manuscript and assessing the three act structure in each and deciding where scenes/chapters are missing within the stories. I’ll make placeholders in Scrivener based on what needs to be added where and take notes about what needs to happen within the stories. Once that is complete, I’m not sure which story I’ll dig into the rewrites of first. I think I will know once I get all of that work done. Like a pendulum, my pen will swing to one or the other depending on which characters call to it the strongest.

How are you doing with your writing projects? What helps you get back to the page when finding time to write is a struggle? In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.

Happy Writing!

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