Saturday, November 8, 2008

Writers and deadlines

Writers often have a love/hate relationship with deadlines. At least this writer does. I apologize for missing my post last weekend (11/1) but I was under deadline from my editor at Ellora's Cave. She'd sent me version one of my soon to be published novel, Protect and Defend and she wanted version two back from me by Monday.

I am proud to say I met my deadline, but I was a bit nervous about the whole thing. Before I received it, I didn't know if there would be a lot to do or just a little. Whether I'd have to remove X amount of words or if I just needed to clean things up a bit. Luckily for me, the answer was the latter.

During the editing process I discovered I loved semi-colons far too much. I use "got" as a verb too often. I misuse both "like" and "that" so I had to make corrections. I'm developing a list of things I need to review as I work on novels and what I need to check on the novel I have finished.

Now to the love/hate part. I have to admit, I often write much better under deadline. I can be pithier (is that a word?) and funnier. This presents a problem when I'm working on a novel and have no deadline for completion. Things just drag on forever. Even self-imposed deadlines don't work well.

My biggest problem is that I have a history of procrastinating. I figure, oh, I'll get to it. Then the night before something is due to an outside party, I know it must be done so I pull an all-nighter. This was my usual pattern when I was in graduate school. The only papers I didn't do write at the last minute were my comps. Other papers whether they were five pages or twenty pages were written in a long dark night.

The good news is that when I received the edits from my EC editor, I started them right away. I didn't finish until the weekend but I completed my first round edits well before Monday and returned them to my editor straight away. I hope this is a trend for me. I hope age and wisdom has trumped youth and procrastination. I'll keep you posted though.

In the meantime...just keep writing!


  1. It's the problem with life, not only for writers, but everyone! Deadlines.
    Gave you a shout out on our blog!

  2. Thanks for visiting Marina. Yes, working on a timeline is tough but I'm almost starting to like it!


  3. Were we separated at birth? I have such a problem with procrastination and writing (unless the muse is being particularly creative, which isn't often lately). Deadlines and revisions scare me to death, almost to the point I'm afraid to get published. But then again, I worked under pressure and met deadlines in the corporate world (before becoming "Mommie") so hopefully I can do it in the publishing world too.

  4. Good job Francesca! Deadlines are a problem. I'm glad you made yours. :)