Monday, January 26, 2015

Abstract Thoughts: I'm Being Quantified

Wisdom from an Inner Editor
As we've discussed, at length, on this blog, Renee is working on a series of short stories this year. She's mainly doing this to get herself back in the habit of completing projects and also to build up a base of completed work that might eventually translate into lovely things like publishing credits and payments.

And that's all wonderful.

One of the other aspects of this project that Renee hasn't discussed much is that this is an opportunity to fully explore how the Project Manager runs things. He has yet to work on a project all the way through.

More importantly, the Project Manager has yet to work with me. He's spent a lot of time working with the Muse on plotting and writing. And he spent a little bit of time working with the Idea Salesman on the flash fiction Renee recently sold to Fireside. But we haven't actually revised a project since the Project Manager came on board.

Which is sad for me on a number of levels, I assure you. Or it would be, if I was the type of abstract entity given to sadness.

But this will soon be rectified. In about two weeks, we're going to start revising "Fishwife". The Project Manager and I will be working together to keep Renee on track and make sure all these short stories she's been writing lately actually go somewhere.

But Renee came to me the other day with a strange question. She wanted to know how the Project Manager should quantify my work.

Silly writer. She really needn't have wasted a joke on me. After all, I'm not an abstract entity given to humor.

For the record, one doesn't quantify my work. I'm not a Muse, churning out word after word until the pages are all filled up, or an Idea Salesman, sending submissions out here, there, and everywhere. Those two need to be tracked and charted and such to keep them from dilly dallying or wandering off on some random flight of fancy.

But I'm an Inner Editor. My work is done when the work is done. They story could need a massive overhaul. Or it could only need minor tweaks and polishing. Or it could fall somewhere in between, anywhere on the spectrum really. It's a delicate process that needs constant attention and reevaluation.

You can't plan this kind of thing out and plug it into one of the Project Manager's funny little spreadsheets.

. . .

Oh. Apparently Renee was not joking. The Project Manager intends to attach a list of "actionable items" to each project and keep tabs on which have been completed. There's to be a revision schedule. Deadlines. He actually thinks he's going to represent my progress on his charts and track my productivity over time.

He's going to *shudder* quantify me.

I am not amused.

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