Thursday, May 11, 2006

Deadline? What deadline?

My title this week is a quote from Stephanie Bond's speech at our Reader's Luncheon this past weekend cause at the moment it fits. I've put myself in deadline hell, because really, I need the practice and like Stephanie I seem to thrive on stress and drama. I must have this book finished, revised, and readable by Saturday because whether I'm done or not Angel will get it to read. Yes, I realize I could simply wait a day or two and mail it to her if I don't finish by Saturday but then I would equate that with missing my deadline and I see no reason to start unprofessional habits before I even become a professional. I'm knee-deep in another rewrite of the second half of this book. I simply haven't been satisfied up till now. But I'm getting there. I'm also heading to being over my word limit but that's something I can live with. I much prefer having room to tighten as opposed to needing to pad.

So here I am at eleven o'clock at night hopped up on caffeine (the pepsi variety because I hate coffee) and staring at the computer screen. I've spent all day staring at it and plan to spend a couple more hours staring at it before I head to bed. Then, bright and early, I will get the girls up and dressed, head to the day job and work on my writing some more. I just hope my bosses (one of which is my father) don't expect much from me the rest of this week.

How do you handle stress? Do you thrive on it or does it leave you winded and jittery?



Angel said...

I do so much better with a deadline, though I have a hard time enforcing self-imposed ones.

Let's see, the stress of the past few weeks resulted in a severe upset stomach this past Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Not good.

Usually I try to do something relaxing every afternoon while the kids have "rest time", even if it is something small. A simple meditation, watching a much anticipated tv show, reading a book or glancing through a magazine, breathing and just letting my mind empty of all the stress. I'm not really good at being consistent with this, but I'm trying. :)


Linda Winstead Jones said...

I like the rush of coming up on a deadline, whether it's self-imposed or contractual. In this small way, I'm a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. :-) Maybe that's why I've been putting off getting into the last draft of the wip. I'm not close enough to deadline. OK, I am NOW, but a few days ago there was no pressing need to get to it.

Angel, find that relaxation time! You need a way to reward yourself for all your hard work.


Kathy said...

You can do this, Instigator! We all have faith in you. What matters most is that your heart is in the right place. Follow your passion. If it involves hard work and your up to the task, do it.

The Nike slogan says it so well, just do it! Frankly, I think that slogan was taken from Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain, who wrote two books about his life after the Civil War. As a young man, his father tasked him to plow a field near the family home. Finding the job practically impossible, he reported to his father that the field was full of rocks. "How am I supposed to plow it when it's full of rocks?", he asked. His father simply told him, "Just do it!"

Throughout Gen. Chamberlain's life he remembered those words. When his men were horribly low on ammo and faced with a frontal assault by Confederates trying to take Little Round Top at Gettysburg, he ordered bayonettes drawn. He and his men swung down like a door and repulsed the advancing soldiers almost by sheer fright alone. Faced with death defying odds, he won the day.

Just do it! Good advice for all of us.


Playground Monitor said...

My deadlines are all self-imposed because I can choose to write something and submit it to a magazine. Even though money is involved, it's easy to let a deadline slip because the editor doesn't know whether I'd planned to submit anything or not. I'm working very diligently on disciplining myself to stay on task. But I do tend to work a little better when there's a bit of pressure, which is why I'll probably write my next article (which is due in NYC on May 19) this weekend).

I try to clean house and/or run errands during the morning and then read or write in the afternoon. The dh and I have dinner together each night and watch tv together a couple times a week -- we're Survivor and American Idol junkies. Then after he goes to sleep, I hit the computer again and write some more.

But do take time to relax and refill the soul so that you don't lose the joy in life.

Smarty Pants said...

I work well under deadlines at work, I'm not sure if I do as well with creative deadlines. I certainly have issues with self-imposed deadlines. It's like a self-imposed diet. No one to take away the cookie, no one to hold up those size 12 jeans I could wear a few months ago and dangle them as a reward. No book contract waiting on me to get off my bum.

That's why Instigator has a whip.