Michelle Wittle On the Numbers Game

Michelle Wittle On, Writing Tips

It is 11 am.  I woke up at 10am. As I was dusting the dream about kids not listening to me once again from my mind, I started getting all these ideas and numbers started floating in my head.

I notice I am the type of writer who can only work on short deadlines. If you tell me I have a few months to get something done, I will do everything but work on it for the first few months leaving myself just about two weeks to complete the job. I often will wonder what I did that was so important I couldn’t get the task done sooner. Then I remember all the twitter updates. I start recalling all the quizzes I took on face book (because I just needed to know what teacher from Hogwarts I was(Dumbledore) and what Sex in the City character I lived my life like (Carrie)). I waste time because I do. It’s not that I am unmotivated. I just know I can do it later (but those quizzes…no I have to take those right away).

Imagine my surprise when I woke up today with a list of things I already wanted to do.

I have two short story ideas in my head (left over from last night because I refused to get out of bed and start writing them). I also know there is one publication I want to get published by and the deadline in November 15th. As I see it, I will take four stories, sharpen them all up. Once I get the best one, I will find 10 places I wouldn’t mind being published in and off that story will go. Each story will follow that pattern. In doing the math, by November 15th I should have 40 places reading my work.

Then, I started thinking; I should really focus on that book idea.

The number 10 pops in my head again. Some outside yet inside voice says, “get ten literary agents and send a query letter and a sample”. I say, “why of course that sounds like a perfect idea.”

I know this seems like a lot to have one’s plate. I am sure I will only get maybe two short stories out to a few places. But here is the real reason behind my ambitious plan.

If I have no plan, I will sit on the computer watching cats do dumb things on YouTube. I will spend hours taking those nonsense-ical quizzes on face book. This will all add up to my utter complaint that I am not published. I am sick of blaming myself.

So now it’s time to blame others.


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