When you write something, you must edit your text. NaNoWriMo is all about writing. Forget the self-editing until you finish the first or rough draft done. Then you can revise what you wrote. Established authors say to let the work rest a bit before you tackle the first revision. That’s excellent advice. So while you are resting the piece, you can start a new one, right? Of course you can. There’s no need to stop writing just because you are revising your story, blog or whatever. It just takes planning.
Schedule a time to write and a time to rewrite. That sounds so simple, doesn’t it? In the real world, however we all understand this is not so easy. Most writers work day jobs, family, friends.
Finding the time to create your masterpiece can be a challenge and now we want to take some away from writing to rework it. Ugh. Suck it up.
Set a deadline. Due dates can be your friend, if you use them correctly. So I gave myself target times, but I remain open enough to account for problems. This can’t be done if someone else is waiting on you, but if you assign them to yourself, you can stay flexible. So if a publisher (lucky you) sets you a time they want you to finish by, you can still create soft deadlines. Just make sure they are well before the absolute deadline. That way you can determine your rewriting work in that block of time you put aside for writing.
This weekly blog takes time, so I plot them in advance so I do have time to revise them. I created a schedule of topics so I know what I’m going to talk about months before publication. That’s my hard deadline. The soft or malleable one is the day of the week. My process often has me start working on the current week’s topic on a Saturday or Sunday. First I research my topic. Then I compose the text. The goal is to try to complete the writing by Wednesday. Then I go over it. Since these posts are short, between four hundred fifty and five hundred words, I can usually do the revisions I need in an hour or two. That’s Thursday through Friday, depending on when I finish initial draft.
By carefully budgeting my time, I can do all of that while writing or revising my fiction. Like most of you, I have a day job — well, I work midnights, but it’s still time I can’t write or rewrite. I maintain a daily journal and I need time to sleep, eat, grocery shop and visit with friends and family. My deadlines keep me on track. They will do that for you too. Keep in mind, deadlines are not your enemy. Remember that. Don’t fight them and they will see you through to the completion of your piece.