The first draft is finished! Sadly, my word count is under the 75,000 words I was shooting for, but hey, the story was over. Nothing left to tell. And I've left quite a few gaps in certain chapters, with little notes that say, "Add conversation about Gwyn's life in San Jose" or "Put more action here." As I work on revisions, my current word count of 67,500 should creep over the 70,000 word mark at least.
But I finished the draft on Thursday, and already, my mind has begun to wander off. There it went, scuttling behind the couch. Without the set 1500 word minimum each day, I'm not sure when I've completed a day's worth of work. On Friday, I gave myself the task of reworking the two dining scenes I mentioned in the last blog. But that only took me an hour or two. Not much in terms of hard work and dedication. So I tried to keep myself busy with revising the next chapter I'll be sending to my writing group and filling in a couple of blanks, but I was really just wasting time. Without a set structure, I can stall better than a run-down car.
Take yesterday, my research day. I needed to look into a clue for helping Gwyn identify the killer and then sketch out more developed characters. First I read the Sunday paper. Then I went to the grocery store. Then I pestered my husband to play me air hockey. Finally, I sat down at the computer to start the research. First I checked my email, then I played Minesweep, then I checked the news, balanced my Quicken, and checked email again. When I couldn't think of any other way to delay (short of cleaning the office, which is even worse than research), I began my search for information. And it didn't take long. In fact, I wasted more time avoiding the research than actually looking anything up. Leaving me plenty of time to develop those characters. But, wait! Lunch break!
If I'm going to use the next six weeks to resolve all those issues I pushed out of my mind, polish the manuscript until it can't be any cleaner, and send it off to my agent, I need to focus. I need To Do lists, I need my notes at my fingertips, I need to disconnect from the Internet (gasp! No! Anything but that!). Most of all, I need the same motivation that kept me on track to write 7500 words a week and finish this draft. I just need to find where I misplaced that motivation. I know it's around here somewhere.