In just a few days, I’ll be incarcerating myself in “Book Jail,” which basically means I won’t be venturing far from my desk. I’ll be holed up in my office, pounding out as many words as I can during the month of September.
I had someone ask
me why I call it Book JAIL, which has such a negative connotation, when
in fact I’ll be doing what I love. Writing. I explained it’s a title I hang on
my virtual door and is geared at everyone else: friends who call and want to
meet for lunch or groups who want me to speak at their meeting or family who
wants…whatever. If I simply say, “no,” they tend to come back with questions.
“Why not?” My reply? “I’m in Book Jail.”
Translation? I have a deadline to meet. For some reason, “Book Jail” works.
I’ve had a busy
summer of events and some travel. After the last few years of lockdown (now
that was some serious BOOK JAIL), it was fun to get out. The problem is I don’t
keep up with my word goals when I’m on the road, no matter how good my
And I need to
keep up with my word goals. Better yet, I need to surpass them.
I have a book due
in early November. I’m currently working on the second draft of that one. But
the first draft was a hot mess, so there’s a lot of rewriting to be done.
The real problem
is I have a second book due February first. I haven’t even begun to
outline, make notes on, or research that one!
I keep trying to
calculate how many days I have and how many words I need to write each day to
meet both deadlines. Thank goodness I’m horrible at math because I’m quite
certain the answer would send me into a panic attack.
I have three
trips coming up in October – November, so I need to take travel into
consideration. The November trip also puts a crimp on NaNoWriMo (National Novel
Writing Month), which is a great opportunity to get a lot of writing done.
But that November
trip is to Lexington, Kentucky, for the presentation of the Dr. Tony Ryan Book
Award, for which I am a finalist. I’m springing myself from Book Jail for that
one. I’ll take my laptop and write for a couple of hours each morning. (Yeah,
sure I will.)
So if anyone
needs me during the month of September—or pretty much any time before February
1—I’m not saying I won’t be available. You’ll just have to wait until after
I’ve written a couple thousand words that day before you hear from me.
do you ever find the need to withdraw into your own Book Jail to make a
deadline? And readers, do you have deadlines you struggle to meet?
Or is that just