Most of the year, my job as a writer requires a manageable amount of my time. I’m able to accomplish my writing and take care of my family and home.
And then there’s the time of the year when two things happen simultaneously. I have a book release (which always comes with lots of marketing efforts). And I have a book due (which always comes with a deadline).
I’m in the thick of that time of the year currently. Meant to Be Mine released this past Tuesday and my next book is due June 1. If you’ve followed writers at all I’m sure you’ve heard them lament about being ‘on deadline’. It’s intense! Do you remember what it felt like when you were in school and had a huge written report due that would count for the majority of your grade in a class you had to pass? That’s similar to what a deadline feels like for a writer. But even that doesn’t capture the ‘on deadline’ mode fully. So today, I’m giving you an honest peek into the heart and mind of a writer caught in those frantic, final weeks before a book comes due.
You Know You’re a Writer On Deadline When….
*Your stamina stems from your great love of your manuscript. You’re determined to give it all you’ve got and make it as good as it can possibly be!
*You hate your manuscript. It’s terrible. You want to throw it out the window. No one will ever like it. You have no stamina.
*Your hair cut, nails, and eyebrows could all use professional attention.
*TV watching = a vague memory.
*Thanks to sunlight deficiency, your vitamin D levels plummet.
*Holiday decorations from a holiday that passed weeks ago still festoon your house. Who has time to package up knick knacks and carry them to the attic?
* Your only social interaction is the kind available via facebook and twitter.
*A kindly, “How was your day?” from your husband can bring on tearful wails of, “I’m don’t have enough time! I’m so stressed! I’m overwhelmed!”
*You find yourself standing in front of your pantry without having made any conscious decision to get up from your chair. Now that you’re here, however… hm… what’s there to eat? You may also walk into your bedroom, bathroom, backyard, etc., and, once there, have no idea why.
*Traitorous thoughts about other story ideas, better story ideas, story ideas that actually possess a shred of potential, flit through your mind.
*You revert to the same mode, clothing-wise, that you were in when you had a newborn to take care of. You’re only interested in serviceable and comfortable yoga-type clothing. No one to see, no one to impress.
*You’re dressed in yoga-type clothing, but have little hope of actually visiting the inside of a gym.
*Spell check reminds you repeatedly that you’ll never be able to spell persistent or exercise correctly.
*You wonder why you signed up to do this job. You’re certain you were far happier as a full-time stay at home mom. You had no homework then. Which makes you wonder, “I’m (fill in the blank) years old. Why do I have homework?”
*You may not be much of a caffeine consumer during your ordinary life, but now you’re a caffeine junkie.
*Grocery shopping? Ba ha ha haaa!
*Cooking? You’re not cooking.
*Chocolate? Why yes, you’re eating your weight in that.
*The acuity of your vision takes a nose-dive due to marathon hours peering at a computer screen.
*You think about your characters in the shower, driving, when you rest your head on your pillow. Snippets of ideas, pieces of dialogue, realizations of threads that need to be pulled through the novel all occur to you, often at inconvenient times when you have no writing instrument. Ex: in the restroom, while standing in front of the elementary school waiting to collect your child. Over the years you’ve trained your brain to commit ideas to memory. Even so, you still forget one occasionally. You’re certain, when on deadline, that the one idea you forgot was the one idea either 1) imbued with brilliance or 2) positively necessary to the plot.
*Odd piles of stuff accumulate in your house and car. (See header photo for a glimpse at the mounting pile in my car).
* You throw yourself on God’s mercy because you’ve never been more aware of your own inadequacy to accomplish the task set before you.
Writers – do you have any ‘you know you’re on deadline when’ points to add to this list? Non-writers – what is your busiest time of the year and how do you get yourself through?
A ‘review and excerpt tour’ is currently running in celebration of Meant to Be Mine’s release! They’re offering a great 3 prize giveaway (including a $50 Visa gift card!) Click here for details.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Becky