I’m a glutton for punishment. How else can you explain why I’ve decided to tackle NaNoEdMo when I already feel completely stretched as a writer, a mother and a civilized human being? When things have devolved into complete insanity, why not add one more major commitment to send me right over the edge?
The fact is, I’ve been floundering on my longer projects. I can bring myself to crank out the small stuff, but those pesky novels are languishing on my harddrive. So when I received an email reminder that NaNoEdMo was starting March 1, I decided to jump in with both feet. My hope is that NaNoEdMo will do for my editing what NaNoWriMo accomplished for drafting.
Now let’s pause to define a few terms, for those who are unfamiliar. NaNoEdMo is short for National Novel Editing Month, which takes place in March. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, November. If you think of NaNoWriMo as the courtship, wedding and honeymoon, NaNoEdMo is the marriage that follows, the time when you see your beloved with all his flaws and work together to make your marriage beautiful.
As I was making the NaNoEdMo commitment in my head, I realized there were some major differences between EdMo and WriMo. While WriMo is about volume, EdMo is about finesse. WriMo goals are easy to define: write 50,000 words in 30 days, then stop and have a party. EdMo goals are murkier: edit 50 hours during the month of March. I don’t know about you, but my editing process involves long periods of staring at the monitor, petting the cat, checking my email every 30 seconds, maybe taking a swing over to weather.com to check the local radar. 50 hours of that could add up to a whole lot of staring and surfing, but not a lot of accomplished work.
So in the spirit of embarking on a successful EdMo journey, I submit my plan for success.
1)SET CONCRETE GOALS
-- 50 hours editing
-- 8 scenes edited
-- 50 pages of first draft edited
Just like with WriMo, I plan to tell people I’m doing this, give them regular updates and log my progress publicly on the EdMo site and this blog.
3)CLEAR THE DECKS
This means finishing as many small writing projects as I can, sending out any submissions that I’ve been neglecting, cleaning the house to the nth degree, stocking the freezer with meals to reheat, making grandparent visits, friend visits and any other social obligations so I can push guilt aside and just work.
4)START MY WARM UP EXERCISES
Writing begets writing; editing begets editing. I know I can’t hit the ground running on a manuscript I haven’t touched in months. So I’ll read a few back scenes and put a toe in the water. After so long an absence, I need to find Beth’s voice again so I hear her clearly come March 1.
So there it is. My plan to make this tougher by pushing myself harder and reaching a little further than is comfortable for someone with my flaws and my daily obstacles. I know it isn’t going to be easy, but it’s got to be done. Or I expect everyone to let me hear about it.
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