For a start, they are setting the deadlines. And although I’m ahead at the moment, I am very aware that I have to get work done by a certain time. I’m used to moving my deadlines if I’m busy or ill. I can’t do that now – I have to get the work done. It’s an incentive, to keep me going – I’ve written an enormous amount this week, and am developing writer’s cramp, but it’s slightly nerve-racking, to know I must get this done.
I’ve had to change the way I work – normally, I write and re-write and re-write, and don’t submit anything until the entire book is done. But this time I have to submit chapter by chapter, which means I can’t leave the rewrites to the end, and can’t do them all at once. I’m having to restrict myself to two rewrites, and then move on. Having said that, I’ve already moved the prologue three times (it seemed to fit in different places). On the other hand, I haven’t had to rewrite it.
And my own ideas won’t stop coming. I’ll be sat down, working on this, and an idea for something totally unrelated will pop into my head.
Not that any of this is bad. I do need discipline from outside. And it’s all a good experience. And plus – and this is really important – I’m loving every minute of this. Even if this doesn’t work out, and this doesn’t get published, learning how to write to someone else’s rules and deadlines has been invaluable.