Friday, October 29, 2010
The Dreaded Deadline
There is nothing that can get you worked up more as a writer than the dreaded deadline for turning in a book. Though most editors are flexible and understanding if you are a few days or even a couple of weeks late, many expect you to be right on the money with your book and few excuses will do.
I usually approach the deadline the way I would a date for going on a trip to Hawaii, which I often do and have mapped out well in advance. I make sure I take it seriously enough to have my things in order as the day nears. This means I step up my writing, revising, reading, and more revising as the clock ticks, pushing aside things I might have done otherwise, and essentially stick to the script with few distractions till I have completed the project to my satisfaction.
As such, when the date of delivery arrives, I am able to breathe a deep sigh of relief and push send as the manuscript whisks across the high speed Internet in the blink of an eye. My editor then tells me simply, "Thanks," as if the process was smooth as silk.
I then pat myself on the back for yet another job well done and then maybe have some champagne to celebrate, take a few days to regain my bearings, and then it is back in the saddle again for another looming deadline and the normal process of going through the motions to make sure it happens. My editor then is happy, I am happy, and hopefully the readers will be happy too once the finished product is in print and on sale.
How do you approach the dreaded deadline? Are you usually on time? Or often late?
Is your editor understanding? Or can being late put you in the doghouse?