I guess if the gals here at the diner are making their New Year’s Resolutions public knowledge, I’ll fess up to mine. It’s not to lose weight (which I need to do) or to exercise more (which I should) or to declutter my house (ain't gonna happen). My goal is to set a deadline and meet it. Unfortunately, it seems to be a goal I can’t achieve. You see, I have deadlinitis.
It’s not that I can’t meet deadlines. I can. Pre-kids, I worked in the graphic design field for 14 years. Deadlines were a fact of life and I had no trouble meeting any of them. I do web site design on the side now and update my clients’ sites on time without fail. I joined the ladies here at the diner and I haven’t missed posting a blog on my Monday since we started. But every time I set a deadline to finish my latest 2-years-and-counting-WIP, I can’t meet it to save my life. Why?
I have a theory about that (other than the fact that “procrastination” is my middle name). With the graphic and web design, I have paying clients. Money is a great motivator. With this blog, I have 10 other authors relying on me to pull my weight. But with my writing, since I don’t have an editor’s deadline looming over me like a circling buzzard, I have to give myself self-imposed ones.
Therein lies the problem. I’m not a stern task master. Since I’m the only one holding ME accountable for meeting my arbitrary deadline, it makes it real easy to push it back when the deadlinitis flares up. Family vacation? No writing gets done at Disney. Christmas? I wear the Santa hat at my house and, as usual, the shopping elves were no where to be found to help me out this year. Kid’s after school activities? Once they step off the school bus, their world takes priority over mine. Major home remodel? My husband gets the urge, calls the contractor and writes the check--it falls on me to run all over town to pick out the paint, the carpet, the countertops, the tile, etc. Funeral? Major sinus infection? Unfortunately, life (and death and illness) does get in the way. I’ve pushed my deadline back for my latest WIP so many times, it’s gone into not 1 but 2 years. Pit--tee--ful! My agent is going to drop me if this thing doesn’t turn out to be a masterpiece of romantic fiction.
So my goal this year is to shake my deadlinitis, no matter what. Yeah, right. Like Francesca said in an earlier post, I KNOW ME. My last deadline was to finish my WIP by the time the glittering crystal ball dropped on New Year’s Eve. Didn’t happen . . . again. *sigh* But I’ll set that new deadline again anyway, because that’s what I do. Plus, this time if I don't have it done by my next chapter meeting (Feb. 9th, aka the new deadline), my writing friends are going to stand me up and ridicule me in front of everyone in attendance. Hey, maybe the threat of public humiliation will do the trick this time.