The Other “F” Word

In the Year of our Laptop 2014, I shall swan dive into the lake of fire and brimstone known as (cue the scary music, please) Revision Hell. (Imagine that in a bold and jagged blood-red font, superimposed on a screaming Jamie Lee Curtis, circa Halloween.)

Yep. This year is all about the dreaded F-word: F-f-f-f-inish.alphabet

I’ve got a virtual drawer full of projects waiting for the big F. In NaNovember, I completed the first drafts of three novellas, two of which are part of my Portland geek series (the first of these – story 1.0, if you will — has already been accepted by Entangled; 2.0 is currently under submission). I’d also previously completed the first draft of a sequel to Northern Light.

Before next New Year’s Eve rolls around to send me retreating under the covers well in advance of midnight, I resolve to:

  1. Complete the planning and first draft of the final Portland geek novella (4.0).
  2. Revise and submit novellas 2.5, 3.0 and 4.0.
  3. Revise and submit the sequel to Northern Light.

Somewhere in there, I’ll have to edit the 1.0 and (if I’m lucky) 2.0 stories.

Like Jessa, I won’t necessarily punish or reward myself for hitting or not hitting a goal. Hitting it is the reward. Missing it is the punishment (except in the case of contracted books, in which case, my editor may have a few pithy words and/or an inspirational kick in the butt).

So, to my breathlessly awaiting first drafts, I say Happy New Year. This is the year I “f” you.


Posted on January 27, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. You got me on this one. 2013 was my “f” word year. Hope your year is filled with lots of finish lines 🙂


  2. Well done, Ellen. Finish. The magic word. Not so magical when you’re working through a revision. 🙂 You’ll finish. You always do. 🙂 Congrats on the contract and keep on going!



  3. Wha ta hilarious post, Ellen! Congratulations on your contract and I’m thinking positive thoughts about your other projects.


    • Thanks, Sarah! I’m a firm believer in positive thoughts — I have a row of Post-it notes on the wall next to my writing chair, just in case I forget what I need to be positive about!


  4. Congratulations on the Entangled contract! Did being signed in anyway change how you approach deadlines and goals?

    May we all “f” our projects this year! (I love the idea of this being the other f word.)


  5. Good Luck and I will see you at Midnight, on New Year’s Eve at a local coffee shop 🙂


  6. You can do this, Ellen! It’s a matter of focus and letting yourself get caught up in making it “perfect.” That will take you down a dark path of never finishing. Let your editor(s) be your judge of “let it go into the published world.”

    I long ago learned that “perfection” was another word for “fear.” Fear of not being good-enough. Fear of bad reviews. Fear of having regrets. Nothing in the world is perfect. In fact, it is the joy of imperfection that makes each person and work unique and human.

    Can’t wait to read your first published book.


  7. > Missing it is the punishment

    Oh, you said it so pithily 🙂 This is exactly what I meant. We WILL do it!


  8. Ah, Ellen. You’re singing my song. I’m finishing the rough draft of book three of my series. Book one revisions are close to finished. Book two revisions aren’t started yet. Then there’s book three revisions. I said I would finish all three this year. That’s still my intention. Now to find the time to do it all. Good luck to you.



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