I fret over deadlines. It’s not that I’m a procrastinator. Maybe some can procrastinate on book deadlines, but the prospect of doing so on a 55,000 or more word manuscript that I’d feel comfortable sending off to an editor makes me shudder. I’d probably fret though if I didn’t have a deadline, which would mean I didn’t have a book contract either. And if I didn’t have a book contract, I possibly would procrastinate on finishing a book, which would mean I might not get one finished. Sigh.

I probably fret on deadlines because I’m a slow writer. There are much faster writers – I admire them – and I’m sure much faster processes, but this one has worked for me through nine books so far…

 I’m a plodding plotter. I do have a vision of what the book is going to be like before I start. And some particular scenes that’ll be included. Then I write, then edit what I’ve written, then send it off to my alpha reader (my daughter), then review her comments and tweak it some more. Then, when the whole book is written and there is some semblance of beginning to end which didn’t seem to be there when I was plugging away in the middle of it, I go all the way through the book for another edit on the things I’ve learned about the characters and their hopes and problems to make sure I’ve wrapped them up by the final page.

As I said, I’m plodding.

The deadlines aren’t just on the manuscript. There’re deadlines on title ideas, on information for covers, on first review response on copy and line edits, on second reviews.

After I hit send on the email to my editor with my ninth manuscript attached, I felt so light I could’ve floated around the room. I probably mentioned to my husband that the manuscript had been sent off about twenty times.

Now, that’s a feeling I like. The one of finishing a long term project. (The one before wanting to grab the manuscript back to tweak it some more just in case.) But I do very much like creating characters who may or may not know each other and navigating their rocky (conflicted – because no conflict, no story) road to romance with them. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to write their journey. It’s been a lifelong dream.

So I guess if I can’t have one without the other, I’ll take the deadlines. Or learn not to fret.

I better go. I have a proposal deadline coming up and there’s a couple I need to get acquainted with so I can make problems for them.


Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

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