I have wanted to update you for the last few weeks, but have been distracted by various project deadlines that have needed my attention. All of those deadlines have passed and the next deadline is later this month.
This is the deadline I want to share with you! I am entering my book into a non-fiction book contest, even though that wasn’t a part of the original plan. The original plan was to have it ready for submission to somewhere, or for self-publication, by the end of the year.
Then this contest announcement email came one morning. I was up at 6am and it was there in my inbox. I read it, considered it, and after a few hours of tossing it around in my mind, I decided there was no way I could have a manuscript ready by the deadline.
The contest announcement also went to my friend’s inbox and she forwarded it along to me, saying “You gotta do this!” I replied to her email that the deadline was too soon, but then spent the next few hours tossing around the idea again. I was supposed to be grading my students’ assignments.
Could I make it happen? By the afternoon, I decided I had nothing to lose by entering and by that night, I officially registered my name for the contest.
From there, something unexpected happened. I have been in the flow since the flow of writing came for the book, but now I would have to spend about a week in my head questioning all of it.
“There is too much to do.”
“Sarah cannot help me during this time period.” “I cannot put this together by myself.”
“No way it will be good enough to win a contest that soon.”
“Who will read this anyway.”
“Who do I think I am to think I could win a contest?”
And it went on and on, until I had apparently spent an adequate amount of time feeling insecure and full of doubt. One morning, I woke up and decided to keep moving forward with it no matter what. I was too close to finishing what I started. I remembered I had nothing to lose.
When I was doubting, I had most of the book written, but in no particular order. It was far shy of being a cohesive narrative. I am happy to report that it is in its second draft. I have a couple of friends reading it and with their feedback so far, I will start transforming it into draft #3 this week.
Since I only have 22 more days before the deadline, I think I am only going to get three drafts. I haven’t had the doubt and insecurity much since I woke up and decided to go for it. I am intrigued by how I got it out of my system and was able to keep moving forward. I am fortunate to have a lot of cheerleaders to help.
I have a lot of other insights and epiphanies to share with you from this process, but those may have to wait until after I meet this deadline. In the meantime, I will keep you posted!