Work for Hire: What I Learned

SuccessMonday, I submitted my Ancient Maya book to my editor at Red Line.  Yes, Monday.  It was due on Memorial Day.

I’m still a little amazed that I managed to pull this off.  Red Line approached me on April 16.  I had my assignment that same day.  The first chapter and an outline were due on May 5th.  The entire book — 14,500 words — on May 26. This means that in 6 weeks, I researched, outlined, wrote and rewrote 3 times 14,500 words.

Working this fast will never be my favorite way to write but I’m really glad that I did it and would definitely do it again.  I’m not nearly as tapped out as I thought I’d be.

My biggest lesson from all of this was that I can write more and faster than I thought possible.  Before I could start this project, I had to finish another biggie that was due April 30.  I also went out of town one weekend on a retreat, attended a Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor, blogged, worked a high school fundraiser one afternoon, attended a high school concert, finished my part of the paperwork to hire a new pastor at our church, rekeyed a play, finished crocheting a baby blanket, and kept up with my blogging.

Would I want to be this busy all the time?  Again, no.

But it has influenced what I expect from myself.  The editor I met on retreat will accept work from us through September 1.  The piece that has the best chance with her is still an idea in my head, but I have The piece I want to submit is in my idea file, but counting this week, I have 14 weeks to work it up.  It’s nonfiction so I know that once I research it and choose an approach, I can fly.   Two months ago, that would have been daunting.  Now?  Not so much.

Will I manage to do it?  Only if I try.