I didn't mean to over-commit myself. A few years ago when I had just started writing, I made that mistake. I critted like crazy, and volunteered to judge something insane like eight contests in a year. Once I (barely) survived that year, I scaled back and created a manageable balance of writing, critting, and my less exciting but very important day job. And it has worked very well since then. Until last week (cue the ominous music).
Right before I left on vacation, I volunteered to beta read a chapter mate's book. No hardship, as she's a terrific writer, but quite time consuming. I also had to catch up on the crits I missed from my monthly group while on vacation. And now we're meeting again at the end of this week, so I have new crits to do. Also, right before I took my poorly scheduled time off, I sold my third book.
Now my publisher is barraging me (in a good way) for information, such as 3 different versions/lengths of a book blurb. NOTHING takes more time than condensing your standard 250 word blurb down to a mere 50 words. What was supposed to be a romantic, al-fresco dinner in Montreal with my darling husband turned into an hour long brainstorming session on what the cover should look like. I sketched all over the tablecloth - and haven't heard back yet from the cover artist as to whether or not what I asked for can actually work.
I have 20 days to finish my WIP so I can pitch it at Nationals. Yup - I have to crank out 20,000 words in 20 days, and pull a pitch out of thin air. It is going well so far....but I find out on Thursday if my immediate future includes knee surgery. Being doped up on pain meds isn't conducive to the creative process.
Am I complaining? Even though it is all good stuff? A little bit. But more importantly, I'm passing on a tiny bit of wisdom. How will I get through and get everything accomplished (and still get to watch The Bachelorette tonight)? Organization and willpower. Because when I sit down, I know I need to get 1,000 words on the screen in an hour. There is no other option. So I do it. No whining about needing inspiration or more research - I channel the great Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and just about every other bestselling author I've ever heard speak - and put my butt in the chair and write.
It is a terrific reminder that I am capable of doing just that. A reminder that weeks when I pat myself on the back for hitting my word goal and then blithely ignore my computer for three days, that I should push through, and keep writing, above all else. Because if not, my procrastination may just bite me in the ass again sooner rather than later.