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It’s hard to believe I’m in Month 10 of my 14-Month Short Story Collection Plan. This has required a lot of longhand writing and computer time. Earlier this month, when I went to visit my writer friend in England, I didn’t take my laptop with me. However, I needed to have my manuscript ready by mid-June to send to an editor. To meet this self-imposed deadline, I printed out the remaining stories that needed a lot of work and made revision notes longhand while on the plane.

Fortunately, the universe seemed to align time in my favor. The day after I got home from my trip, my husband left for over a week to help his parents move from Long Island to Tennessee. Not that he interrupts me a lot, but it was a huge plus to have every evening by myself. An even better benefit was having an entire weekend at home by myself!

So, like the active planner that I am, I made a chart.

I outlined what worked remained on each story, and an estimate of how much time that work would take me to complete. Then I plotted out everything else I needed to do over the weekend: farmers’ market, clean the coop, inspect the hives, meal prep, laundry, etc. I learned that the writing alone would take me approximately 11 hours and 30 minutes.

I got up at 4:30a on Saturday morning, brewed coffee, and got to work on the stories. I skipped lunch. I read work aloud. By the afternoon, I switched to wine. I cut scenes. I added scenes. I. Got. So. Much. Done. The revisions only took me 8 hours!

notebooks and laptop

When the kitchen table becomes my writing desk.

What was nice about this is that I finished everything on Saturday and had Sunday to recover. Another plus: I used Sunday to start binge-watching “A Handmaid’s Tale.”

I should receive the editor’s feedback next week. While July will be focused on applying her suggestions and making further revisions to the manuscript, my attention will also center on developing a beta reader program and perks. Have you ever managed a beta reader program? Tell me what works!