The hour come round at last

I submitted the final Applied Science story today.
Now that it’s done, it’s starting to sink in what a remarkable accomplishment it was. Not just that someone wanted twelve of my stories (it’s enough wordage for an acceptable-length novel back when I was a kid), but that I finished them.
Which has me reflecting a little further on how I manage my time. For the past five years or so, I’ve enjoyed working multiple fiction projects, usually one novel (occasionally two) and several shorter projects. It’s a good system for me: I have enough variety not to get frustrated if my novel’s going slowly; the short stories give me a few projects I can finish immediately; and I never have to worry about writer’s block. If one project is hopelessly gummed up, I move on to something else.
And I have the freedom to let stories sit: Put one aside for a month and I have the perspective to see its faults and strengths a little better, and do a better job on the next draft. In the intervening 30 days, I work on other stories.
Only working Applied Science has shown i can work much faster than that. A lot faster. So maybe I should try it for some of my non-deadline work.
Next month I’ll pick two, maybe three of my stories that are furthest along and work them multiple times. I’ll see if I can take them, in a month, from “rough draft with potential” to “finished” or at least “penultimate draft.”
And then I’ll let them sit for a month and check again, just to see if the “finished” draft still holds up.
It’s very tempting to redraft my stories over and over and over without moving from “improved” to the final stage—a variation of my checklist problem. I’m suddenly feeling I’d like to move a little faster. And I do have several stories to finish if I’m to meet my 2009 “101 things in 1001 days” list.
Wish me luck.

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Filed under Personal, Short Stories, Writing

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