Monday, October 1, 2012

Fourth Quarter Game Plans

Post by Jenny

I’ll say this quietly so as not to unduly alarm anyone: today is October first. I find it hard to believe, as it feels as though we were just celebrating the Fourth of July. But because my phone, my computer, and my desk and wall calendars are all in agreement, I must accept the fact that we are now entering the fourth quarter of 2012.

In terms of personal productivity, that fact is daunting. But as any good sports fan knows, a lot can happen in the fourth quarter. Take the 1989 Lakers vs. Sonics Western Conference Semifinals game four. The Lakers were down by as many as 29 in the first half but came back to win 97-95…and sweep the series. Or how about the New York Jets, who were trailing the Miami Dolphins 30-7 in the fourth quarter but won 40-37? (I wish I could claim to be awesome-sport-stat-gal, but I had to rely on Google for these.)

Writers, today is the perfect time to examine your fourth-quarter game plan.  Perhaps you’ve had a great 2012. You’ve put a lot of points on the board, you’re well ahead of the game, and you’re ready to ease up a little and maybe head to the locker room early. I say, good for you, congratulations, job well done.

But maybe you’re more like me—you’ve had your share of punts, fumbles, and miscues this year. You can’t seem to get out of the hole, and you’re starting to hear the rustling sound of fans leaving early. Well, it’s not too late to shake things up. That might mean digging in and working harder. Or it might mean working smarter by using what you learned in the first three quarters to put your biggest obstacles behind you. It might even take a gutsy call, such as committing to NaNoWriMo in November. My point is that there is enough time left in 2012 to make solid progress toward your writing goals.

If you've put in too much time on the sidelines this year, join me in getting up off the bench. I'm tying my shoes right now. For further inspiration, I might put up a picture of Eli Manning, who last season tied an NFL record with seven fourth-quarter comebacks and went on to win the Super Bowl. Not too shabby. (Last night's game, however, was a different story.)

What’s included in your writer’s game plan for the end of 2012?


Rini K said...

Well, I'm not a football fan, but I've been doing NaNoWriMo for the last few years. That helps push my writing during the busy fall season, and makes it easier in December as I have editing to do instead of having to put words down on a blank page when I only have a half hour here and there.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm a fall and winter binge writer, so I'm already working harder and smarter than I did all summer. I'm definitely doing NaNoWriMo again this year.

Jenny said...

Best of luck to both of you come November!

Kerrie said...

I'm lacing up my shoes and am ready to join you. I hope to end 2012 with the first draft to my novel done, a contract for an e-book and the 2013 conference all planned out.

Dean K Miller said...

Fourth quarter yeah, but I think the game I'm in has eight! Long ways to go, happy with my effort so far and if there were just a couple more scantily clad cheerleaders along the way, I know I'd get there!

Regardless, I'm sure I'll finish my first draft, send out at least two more essay submissions and order wine by the know, the good stuff that comes in 5 liter boxes.

Maggie said...

The first 3 quarters: Rejectioners 27, Maggie's YA 0.

4th quarter qame-plan: Trade to the Women's Fictionists.

Maggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny said...

Kerrie, Dean, Maggie, it's fun to know that we're all in the same game. Even though it does feel like overtime sometimes :-)

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