I feel like this today because it was the 19th of December when I started the Novelette I'm currently working on. When I started revising it was 24,240 words long and now--after three months of sweat--I've managed to wittle it down to a svelte 16,978 words. Now that I'm writing this up, three months doesn't really sound that long but it has felt like an eternity. Okay, maybe not quite and eternity, but at least a couple of lifetimes.
And THEN I start thinking, So, if this short little bit of nothing** is taking me so long, how long is my NOVEL going to take? We're all going to be little wrinkled old ladies with no teeth by the time it's fit for even my most trusted friend to read.
But I looked at my To-Do list*** today, and it appears that the revisions I'm doing aren't, after all, disappearing mysteriously as soon as I close my Word doc. In fact, I'm closer to being done with revisions than I thought.
I'm reminded of a story from Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. She talks about one of her siblings who once left a large biology project on birds to the night before. He was working himself into a lather and wondering how he was ever going to get it done, when her father advised him, "Just do it bird by bird." Just a little bit at a time. Just as much as you can see through a one-inch picture frame. Eventually, all those little bits will add up and you'll be finished.
So, I'm going to focus on just doing a little bit every day and not on freaking out because things aren't getting done as fast as I thought they would. After all, all the work I'm putting into this novelette is an excellent exercise for when I really dive into revisions for my novel.
This is also how I plan to get through the rest of the week. I can see Spring Break shining on the horizon like the most glorious sunrise and it's making nearly every minute spent on school work into acute torture.#
Don't forget our Giveaway!##
* If you don't know where this is, you seriously need to go read some Jasper Fforde.
** It's 50 pages. Compare that to my novel which is 350.
*** Yes, believe it or not, I have one. I think even die-hard Pantsers like myself should probably stop whining about constraint, suck it up and write one when they get to the revision part of this process.^
^ If you're wondering about the foot notes, Robin McKinley^^ uses them on her blog and I aspire to be as cool as she is someday.+
^^ who is an enchantress of the first water.
+ It's kind of freeing. I can just ramble on++ forever. I think it might even induce rambling. I almost feel compelled make more foot notes.=
++ with as many asides as I want
= I think I'll spare you further ramblings.
# Do I really want to learn about Trobriand Islanders or the French Subjunctive on this hideous, windy, icy, snowy day? Not really. I think I would rather stick a fork in my eye.^
^Maybe that's a touch strong. What I would really rather be doing is eating my weight in cake and reading Mariana.+
+ Oops. That was another footnote, wasn't it?
## As usual, if you participated in Save-a-Word Saturday you are eligible for extra entries.