The New Countdown by Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “The New Countdown.” Enjoy!
Now that the New Year has begun, I, like many of you, am focused on completing unfinished projects and starting some new ones. I’m nearing the end of Part 2 of my latest graphic novel but the end seems to be taking forever! Perhaps I haven’t been rigorous enough enforcing my own deadlines, so that will be one of my resolutions for the new year – set a deadline, or more accurately , a goal – and stick to it!
Seems simple enough, but what is it that makes hitting a deadline so difficult? This project is something I want very much to complete but as they, life and all manner of things are constantly occurring, disrupting my best laid plans. Also, this isn’t the only thing I’m working on so I’m concerned that I often scatter my energies. As a creative person with wide-ranging and varied interests, a creative small business and a full-time teaching job, I find myself constantly juggling priorities.
I’ve decided to complete this project before crafting a new graphic novel proposal for a publisher so I’ve set my intention on clearing the decks so to speak before that undertaking. Since creating a hand-drawn graphic novel is very labor intensive work, I can do effective, original work in short bursts before I circle back to correct, revamp and whip things more into shape. There’s no short cut around constant tweaking, much like the constant rewriting of an article, essay, short story or novel chapter to get to one a writer can live with, and at some point it has to be good enough, because it’ll likely never be perfect.
For most of my pages so far I’m almost at good enough, and for the remaining few, I still have inking to do. I’ve extended my self-imposed deadline by two weeks, with plans to complete this project by mid-January. I’m quite the list maker, so I’ll make a list of my final tasks to complete before then. Will it help? As I say, I make lots of lists, but lists are rather ineffective without action. There’s nothing better for a list maker than checking items off the list, so to get to that point requires taking action; that’s the important part. The downfall of many a new year’s resolution is failure to continue taking action. The promise of a new year with new opportunities to improve gets lost in the haze of everyday routine, but taking action propels things forward—and that can change everything!
Now that I’ve told you about my new deadline, I’m going to make that my new goal, and use this opportunity to hold myself accountable. Will I make the new deadline? Read next month’s column to find out.
Happy New Year and happy writing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nevada McPherson McPherson lives with her husband Bill and rescue Chihuahua, Mitzi in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is an associate professor of Humanities at Georgia Military College. Nevada received a BA in English/ Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. She has written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, plays, short stories and the graphic novels, Uptowners and Piano Lessons. Queensgate, the sequel to Uptowners, is her third graphic novel. For more information, visit www.nevada-mcpherson.com.