Thursday, March 17, 2011

* Deadlines...Those Awful Deadlines *

I've always met my writing deadlines when it came to my newspaper columns. I submitted stories in time for contests and anthologies that I cared about. I continue getting my Searchlights & Signal Flares sent to Susan Bono as requested every month. SO, what is it with me and my self-imposed, complete-my-memoir deadline(s)??

Many times I've pondered this, talked about it with The Ronald, and discussed it with writer/blog friends. Last night while lamenting about it with a very good, non-writer friend, she spoke volumes of wisdom in just a few words. She told me I should be enjoying myself and having fun writing my memoir...make it a pleasure, not a burden. WELL! Although I've heard similar words of advice many times before, these really hit home. Sometimes it's the speaker and sometimes it's the listener, for the words to make sense and ring true at any given time.

Besides not making my deadlines, each time I would feel more foolish for writing about it here. I felt that besides letting myself down, I was letting all of my followers down, as well. That won't be happening any longer. I vow to enjoy writing my book and anything else I want to write, from now on.

Therefore, I will not be announcing any more book deadlines on this blog! I may share news of chapters being completed, or I may just wait until it's been sent off for galleys.

My apologies, too, for not getting around to blogs and commenting as much as I used to (try to) do. I know I haven't answered e-mails as promptly as before, either...or many missed replying at all sometimes. My mind has been in a fog, but like this beautiful spring weather we're experiencing today, I'm starting to bud and sprout again. Soon, I'll be blossoming!

(Photos from my front "garden" in 2008)

"You can't turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again." -- Bonnie Prudden

“Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. howdy.

    picky's hosting a ten-book giveaway. get to the bottom of this post:

  2. I use self imposed deadlines too. On one hand they are great, on the other hand, a big source of stress. When I find the perfect balance I will let you know. In the meantime if you find it first, will you let me know? :)

  3. Becky that's funny that you said a non writer friend said you should just enjoy yourself. I was fretting about my own (self-imposed) deadline or something about writing when my husband said, "You need to just write for the joy of writing and forget about all that other stuff." Makes sense and I'm trying hard to relax about it all, but you know how we writers are...

  4. I love the quote you shared about winding up the clock again! I think you are exactly right about the deadlines. I hope you can get back to just enjoying the writing process.

    I wanted to let you know too that I passed a Bloggy award on to you today. Thanks for being an inspiration to me!

  5. If I didn't set strict deadlines for myself, I'd never get anything done at all. I live at the beach, which is always beckoning. So I have to invent a slave-driver boss self to keep my "whatever, dude" self in check.

  6. If your book comes out this summer, or this fall...or in the middle of the Christmas season...What is the difference?

    Have fun. Make it good. Have fun while you're making it good.

  7. Becky, I'm glad you've decided to relax and enjoy. I think your friend's advice is wise.

    I will take that advice too. However, I must mingle it with some balance, perhaps not a deadline, but I must find a way of self-discipline that gets me to the blank page. Procrastination seems to rule my world and I have to find a way to go beyond it.

  8. I think the problem comes from the word "deadline." Like if we don't get our work done, we'll die. No wonder you're stressed!

    So I think we need a new word here. Something like..."Suggested point at which I'd like to finish project" or "Spawiltfp" for short.

    Yes, spawiltfp is MUCH less intimidating! :-)

  9. I find that self-imposed can work both ways: they either motivate or drive me insane. Just do what feels right for you every time you sit down to write and the words will come. I promise!

  10. Great advice. I quoted you (using a "Crazy Rita"-ism) on my blog.

  11. Self-imposed deadlines can be great for motivating yourself, but more often than not, depending on the situation, they tend to raise stress levels because we lose sight of the goal: having fun while we get to where we're going, what we're working towards :)
    Hope your not posting new deadlines will help, and your friend was right: have fun, honey!

  12. You can do it, Becky. Spring is probably just the thing you need. :)


  13. Hi Becky, I can relate. My "day job" is all about deadlines, and I never miss them. I've also kept on top of my self-imposed blog schedule. But the books? The big, big oh-my-God-I'm-really-putting-it-out-there books? Reaching that absolute final deadline is like dropping your kid off at her/his very own first apartment and knowing that the kid's future will be greatly influenced by others. Also, that's the time when you give away that which has been "a pleasure, not a burden" (as your friend aptly put it). So, it's not an easy thing to do. Think about your next big project and how exciting it'll be to get going on that! It'll feel like you've still got a kid in the house, and that might help.

  14. Hi Becky, I completely understand about not getting around to all the blogs. I'm teaching a book writing course now, and it's hard to carve out time for my own blog commitments. Sometimes, we just have to say "uncle"!


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