Blog No. 376
I blew it. As I write this, it’s February 4th and I still have five chapters to finish for the fourth draft of Broadcast Wasteland. I have exactly two months to have the book in my hand (one of them being a short month) and the next step relies on other people. That’s not a dig on working with others. We have all had terrible group projects in school or work assignments that have required us to deal with terrible partners. In this case, the other people are all trustworthy, reliable, and give valuable feedback. The issue I have is time. I have to get the book to the printer (talk about reliability issues) by mid March at the latest (very, absolute, definite latest) if I have any chance of getting copies for the April 4th launch.
Believe it or not, that extra leap day is going to be clutch in making this deadline. I have a list of people who I would like to do the beta read (some of the same people who did such great work on Neon Heart) but I haven’t approached them all yet. I know my mom and dad will give it a read (thank you) but I don’t want to count on anyone else without their say-so. It’s a commitment and everyone I know is always neck deep in their own work. Dropping a beta read with a steep timeline on them doesn’t always work. Plus, it’s my fault it’s late. I’m sure some of them will be happy to give it a read, and some of them will be able to rocket through the book (it’s only 44 000 words) but the time crunch complicates everything.
On top of being a jerk who’s going to put pressure and work onto his friends, I don’t have enough time to do the beta reads in steps. For Neon Heart, I sent out the reads one at a time, so that I could go over what the first person said, so the second person didn’t have to deal with those typos or confusing sections. That is totally out the window this time. I may try for two or three (if I’m lucky) rounds where I get a few people to read it at a time and use all their suggestions when I send it to the next group. It’s all about time and availability. Come hell or high water, I’ll have the draft done before this is posted, so hopefully some of the kind, brilliant folks who have agreed to do a beta read will already be underway, but there is no other way to cut it. February 4th is just too late.
I’ve been thinking about the weight of things lately. The idea that both the big things and all the little things add up and sit on our shoulders. I’ve been trying to stay on top of the little things (folding my laundry right away, keeping the sink empty of dishes) but there is always something else adding a little weight. I had something drop a larger weight two weeks ago. It was sudden and sad and there’s a little hole in my life. It’s not anything drastic or life changing (not any more than most other things) but it sits with me.
That’s not an excuse as to why I slacked off. I just miscalculated how long the 4th draft would take and spent too much time not working on it. I was behind as it was, partially because I was lost in the second draft and needed a hand to see if it was any good. There isn’t anything I can do about it now but hope that the folks who agree to do the beta are better than me. I’ll make the deadline or I won’t. It’s self imposed either way. The important thing is to put out a book I’m proud of, even if I’m less proud of how long it took me.