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Deadlines and What they do to Me

DEADLINEI officially have deadlines. For so long I’ve written on my own timetable. Edited when I felt like it, developed characters when I took walks, and proofread only on days I had time. Now it seems it’s going to change.

As I look at the 300 page manuscript glaring back at me, I laugh. Not the Joker kind of laugh, but a timid little mouse laugh. Edged with a sense of denial. “Yeah, that thing’s due soon, but whatever … I’ve got time.”          Three weeks later I’m looking at the computer monitor with Scotch-taped open eyes, a huge Mocha Frappuccino, and shaky fingers … the clock chiming, 1:00 a.m.  Why do I do this? It’s seriously something wrong with the wiring in my head. My daughter gets a school assignment for two weeks out, and it’s finished that night before the ink is dry on the instructions.

Maybe I feel like I’m holding the work for later. Letting the idea marinade that it’s something to be done. Maybe I do my best when a gun is cocked to my head. Who knows. As I type this very blog, I glance over to my massive pile of paper and deny it’s there … ticking like a bomb. Whatever, I’ll get to it. Right after I fill the birdfeeders and water my plants. Then I know I’ll be ready:)

On a most happy note, I just signed a contract with a new publisher for another book. It’s due out next summer and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Having my work in the hands of readers is unlike anything. Of course, if they’re mean in reviews, I’ll hide under a rock. But I’ll cross that denial bridge when I come to it. For now, it’s a dreamy-eyed notion that I’m going to be published again. It’s just the beginning!!!!

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