New Year, New Plan

Published Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:55 AM
Alright, so the plan isn't that new. It's different from last year's but it's the same overall plan. 2012 is poised to be a year of unparalleled change in my life, leaving me helplessly busy and most likely suffering from unrelenting fatigue and exhaustion. My full time job as a tenth grade teacher continues to consume most of my time and leave me routinely tired; however, as of next week I am adding the additional stress of my return to graduate school at USF. Two classes, two nights, not sure yet about the work load. I'll do what I have to do, because I have two and half years to get my master's degree so that I can be certified to teach (right now I have a temporary certification). This is not my passion, but my profession, and there are things I must do to keep myself gainfully employed while I pursue what is my true passion: writing.

The reason for this lies in the biggest news of all. My wife and I are expecting...TWINS! That's right, Mary is due in the middle of August with a pair of identical babies (don't know the sex yet). We were trying, but for one. This is such a huge surprise, because twins runs in neither of our families. We are very excited, but this brings with it a whole new host of incredible challenges. We may need to get a new, bigger house. We always said our little townhouse would work through one kid but we'd have to move when we had the second. They say if you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

Well I guess I'm going to be making God laugh some more. Here's the plan: regardless of all else, I must complete the third draft of my book in the next twelve months. This will keep me on target of completing a draft a year (the past two years I've been good at this). I think I want to see my book published by 2015 at the latest. This gives me time for several drafts and time to shop the work around to publishers and agents.

To make this happen I would like to hear back from my readers about the book by March 10th. That is the week of spring break for both my college and the high school where I work (how convenient!). I think this is reasonable. Two months for them to finish reading and let me know what they think (but y'all tell me if it ain't). That way I can use my week off to look over what they have to say, develop a revision strategy and maybe hopefully even get the ball rolling on writing. It's important that I start before my summer vacation. Because of the way the college schedule works, I'll be able to take two semesters (spring & a six-week summer session) before high school lets out for the summer. After that, I'll have almost two months all to myself before school starts again and before the babies come to try and complete the third draft of my book. I know that if I jump in cold-turkey, I won't be able to go from not writing to writing eight hours a day with any semblance of efficiency.

So, spring break, middle of March, I begin work on the third draft. Readers, please I beg of you, let me know what you think! I need your help. While it will surely be a struggle to find time to write while working and attending graduate school, I will fill my spare time with revision. If it's important you make the time, I've heard people say, and this is most definitely important. I figure if I can knock out a few chapters before summer and get some momentum, I'll have a receipt for success. While the end of this year may be the ultimate deadline, the hidden deadline is before the twins come and life gets really, truly crazy.
by DMI
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