One of the strangest things I've realized is how horribly most of my planning goes. I set deadlines for myself ahead of time, and I almost always either end up going past the deadline, or moving the deadline to a later date. In writing, the former usually happens. But in writing, the topic that's supposed to meet the deadline in the first place changes.
In case that didn't make any sense at all (and it probably didn't considering I'm writing this at eleven pm after a long day on trying to figure out how to write my AP essay), let me explain further.
Months ago, when I was writing draft 5 of Depravity, I've already set "draft goals". I knew draft 6 was going to be finalizing my scenes, draft 7 was going to be finalizing dialogue and grammar, and draft 8 was going to be finalizing everything else. Now I'm at draft 8 and what am I doing?
Still finalizing the scenes.
Now, I'm not discouraged or anything. I tend to change my mind a lot about things, especially if I care about the "thing" a great deal. When it comes to writing, I always have all sorts of ideas, and those ideas always change from time to time. I could have one idea one day, and the next I could wake up with an even better idea, although it might mean adding another short passage or altering one I've already written. Add that in with the fact I get distracted easily--and I tend to procrastinate a lot--and it basically means that my "draft goals" will be slowed down and I'm going to end up taking forever writing my next draft. AKA draft 9. In fact, I'm still taking a long time writing my eighth draft.
I'm not sure how long it's going to take before I am absolutely proud of my work, until my manuscript is agent-presentable. It might take another few months, or even another year. All I know is that I'm going to take my time. I can't rush these things. I only get one debut, and I might as well make it the best it can be (if of course I do end up getting published).