“I’m on deadline.” This is a valid and oft repeated phrase in the writing world. Other writers immediately know what that means and can commiserate, but it is something I don’t like to say out loud to people, even when it is so true and explains a lot of my behavior. I mean, it is my job to meet my deadlines. Writing is what I love to do and I’m privileged to be published, so I hate to complain about any of it.
For the last month, though, I was “on deadline.” I had more than half a book to finish by last Friday. I made it. Barely.
Meeting the deadline meant that:
1. I didn’t do much housecleaning.
2. I didn’t do much cooking.
4. I actually asked family to do things I usually do (like go buy kitty litter at Petco-not clean the kitty litter, though. I knew better than that)
5. I did not monitor my eating (and gained a few pounds)
6. I slept an average of four hours per night.
Oddly enough there were things I did not give up. During this period I had lunch with friends, attended the Washington Loves Romance get-together, visited the museum last week, attended a writers weekend at Inn Boonsboro (but I wrote there. A. Lot.), got my hair cut, went shopping for a new bed, attended our friend Eugene’s talk at the Library of Congress, visited my in-laws in Williamsburg, had dinner with my sisters, kept up with my blogs (sorta).
I actually believe that doing things for enjoyment makes my writing better. Life, even the writing life, is meant to be enjoyed.
If I’m making all this sound easy, it isn’t always. I had long periods where I didn’t have a clue what to write or whether what I was writing made any sense at all. I kept myself going by telling myself that the book didn’t need to be perfect, it just needed to be done. I’ll get another chance at it after my fabulous editor, Carly Byrne, has a look at it. She should be reading it this week! Carly tells me what she thinks isn’t working and I change it! The revision process is actually my favorite part of writing.
And enter my contest!
We all have deadlines of some sort. What are yours?