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The Deadline Is Near

Elizabeth Jannuzzi discusses the last days of drafting her memoir before the Memoir Incubator's September 9th deadline.

By Elizabeth Jannuzzi

September 01, 2022

Twenty-five days and counting. 23 days and counting. 20 days and counting! These are the daily posts we receive from our co-leaders in our Memoir Incubator Slack account as we count down to our September 9th manuscript deadline. (That’s next week!) Writers post responses such as “Got some work in early, took a walk, and I’m back to writing/panic-crying now.” or “Act I and II are reader-ready-ish. Hoping Act III comes together as well.”

I imagine us in a video montage—the calendar pages rip and fall to the floor as we all pour cups of coffee, pound at the keyboards, mark up printouts with red pens, shoo family members away, and flip through our craft books.

I volunteered to be the first submitter in my three-person reading pod which was assigned at the beginning of August. That’s the way I roll when it comes to finish lines. When I hike, I plod along slow and steady until the last mile at which point I sprint to the trailhead. My hiking partners are always like: “What’s gotten into her?” At the end of the hike, I explain: I just wanted it to be over!

I’m ready for this drafting portion of the Incubator to be over, too. I’ve added page numbers to my Word document, double-checked that the font is Times Roman Size 12, and I’ve visited to figure out how I’m going to print this puppy.

Next week, I’ll hand off my printed manuscript to my trusted early draft readers and I’ll take a break from my memoir, for a little while at least. I see the drafting finish line and I’m sprinting towards it. Cue the video montage!

Elizabeth (Liz) Jannuzzi, Project Write Now’s operations and communications manager is a mother and writer living in New Jersey. Her work has been featured in Pangyrus, Cagibi, and Entropy. She is currently working on a memoir about recovery.