Friday, April 20, 2012

Writer's worst nightmare--the dreaded DEADLINE!

First things First!  The TWO WINNERs of Lisa Norato's wonderful book, Prize of my Heart,
are  Sheri Salatin and GreenDuckie13!!!   We had 46 entries, and I used to choose the winners. Thank you all for entering!!
I don't know about you, but I hate deadlines. There's a reason they call them dead-lines, you know. It's because they drain the life out of you, especially your creative genius.  I mean, how am I supposed to come up with a great story line, fantastic, deep, interesting characters, plot twists and turns, and suspense on every page when this dark grim-reaper is lurking in the corners of my office?  And the worst of it is, he's clicking his tongue, ticking away the seconds and minutes and hours until all my brain can hear is a clock! A deadly clock!

When that clock strikes midnight, and my book is not done, not only do I transform from a published author sitting in her big office chair and surrounded by her many published novels, into an weak-willed woman with the word LOSER stamped on her forehead, but my book, my precious manuscript turns into a pumpkin!

Okay, Okay. So, I've never missed a deadline yet, but with one looming on the horizon (May 1st, to be exact) I thought I'd share with you a little of the hysteria that only my poor husband gets to experience.

But what really happens if my deadline passes and I'm not done. Is it really so bad? Well, I suppose that depends on the publisher.  Most, with a pat on your back of understanding, will grant you another week or two, maybe even a month.  After that time, however, the pat on the back becomes a jab in the side in the form of money you now owe them for being late.  And believe me, we authors have usually already spent our advances a Long time ago!  If more time passes, you could lose your contract, which means the publisher no longer wants your book. Even worse, you are now branded in the industry as being a no-show on your manuscripts and no decent publisher will touch you with a ten foot pole!

So, you see why the hysteria?  In truth, I've never been good at deadlines. Even as a child in school, if I had homework due I always did it as soon as I got home. I wanted to get it done so I could play and not worry about it. I guess you could say I'm definitely NOT  a procrastinator. I do the same thing with my books. As soon as I sign the contract, I'm off and running...and running...and running...writing my little heart out. Six months may seem like a long time to write a book, but believe me, I need ALL of that time to write mine. There have been times that I've put the "The End" on my book the day before the due date. For someone like me, that's a complete nightmare.
Then there's my husband, the perilous procrastinator.  He waits until the last minute to do anything. In fact, I doubt he could do anything without the added pressure of an impossible deadline. Whether it be an important paper or talk at work or fixing the leaking toilet, he waits and waits, enjoying life until the toilet is about to explode or his paper is due tomorrow and then he dives in and works!  I have no idea how he can stand living like this!  I would be in the funny farm.

Having said all that, I do believe I will be done with Forsaken Dreams, Book 1 in my Escape to Paradise series by May 1st.  Yes, of course I will be. MaryLu, miss a deadline? Impossible. But in the process, I've driven myself mad for 6 months, whereas if I was like my husband, I would have only driven myself mad for the last couple months and enjoyed life the months before.

So which way do you think is better? And which way are you? Do you work better under a tight deadline and put off what you can do tomorrow?  Or does a tight deadline completely freak you out and make you too numb to do anything?


  1. Fri Apr 20th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First off .... "Congratulations" to Sheri S and GreenDuckie13, on winning "Prize of my Heart". '46' entries ... wow !!! That's great.
    "The Dreaded Deadline" ... well, for starters, I go nuts with any kind of dead-line, or, anything hanging over my head -- to be done. I am an 'organizer by heart' ... you know, everything in its place, and, a place for everything. Even when it comes to 'deadlines' ... it stresses me out too much, and I go into 'instant panic mode' ! And then, it causes me to lack in focus on other things that need to be seen too as well !
    I prefer things to be done in an orderly and timely fashion ... setting a pace, and NOT rushing.
    That's just 'too funny' ... how opposites attract ! You off and running right when the clock begins ticking its countdown, and, then your husband ... waiting until the last minute to begin. (I have sons like that too ! Drives me crazy !!!)
    Well, whatever ... I know you can do this MaryLu Tyndall !!! One step, and one day at a time !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Wow! Sounds like a LOT of work. Praying for you.
    I can't wait to read it!
    Love the picture of the girl with the loser sign. And the horse!
    (I commented on your post about our culture and sex, if you check it out I gave helpful hints of how to explain it to teens).
    It's Friday!!! Im so happy.
    Concert tomorrow for girls only. Christian music and teaching us about guys and how to be responsible young women. It's ALL day! Can't wait!
    God bless,
    Rebekkah xD

  3. I'm definitely your type. I'll start the project immediately. I'd rather be done 3 months ahead of schedule and THEN have the time to just lay around and "play". I"m not too crazy on deadlines. I can function fairly well with them, but I'd rather "get on it" than wait till last minute.

  4. I think that your type is definantly better, but I think that I am a procrastinator :D Thanks for sharing! It is really intersting to see what deadlines are really like.

  5. Brenda, after hearing your description, methinks you and I are very much alike! :-)

    Rebekkah have fun tomorrow, it sounds wonderful!

    Sheri, it's nice to know there are others out there like me. I have an author friend who procrastinates and procrastinates until she's only got a month left before her book is due. Crazy!

    Heather, I think your type is more normal. And people like you are often more relaxed. That's a good thing! As long as you don't procrastinate too long!

  6. Congrats to the winners. Guess I will have to buy my copy. Oh well.
    Well, MaryLu, whether or not I procrastinate would depend on what needs to be done. If it is something that I, personally, set for myself, I tend to put it off until it 'has' to be done. Otherwise, I try to get things done as soon as possible, so that I do not stress out over it. You seem to be doing the right things with your writing schedules. Just don't burn yourself out. :)

  7. LOL, I'm also an anti-procrastinator. That's actually the biggest thing I've had to adjust to with college - completing assignments even the night before they're due rather than a week in advance, simply because it's impossible to get ahead with such a long to-do list. I'm definitely looking forward to this summer, when I can return to my natural get-things-done-long-before-they-need-to-be-done state. :-)

  8. Wow! More ant-procrastinators!!! I didn't realize you all were out there! I feel much better about my anal-retentive self now. :-)

  9. Try as I might, I can't seem to do much without procrastination. :/ I wrote all of my English papers in High School the during the last 2 days they were due. What about the 1st draft, you ask? Oh, by then I've totally changed my mind about what I wanted to write, scrapped the whole idea and have started over.

    Who can explain how it works? Somehow in the midst of it I was perfecting being a perfectionist, too. In some way it's like the extra pressure of getting it done stirred the creative juices. I don't know why.

    Since then, I have learned that it's ok to take an hour or two off in a day just to think & create!



    Just because I don't have a tangible something for my time spent doesn't mean it wasn't time well spent. That has been a valuable lesson that has taken some of the edge out of procrastination. Am I a get-it-done-now girl finally? Nope. But perhaps I'm edging more towards a balance of the two...I hope.

  10. Joleen, you sound just like my husband! But I like your idea that taking time off to think isn't wasted time. In my mind, it's hard when I reach the end of the day and haven't produced anything tangible. :-( I need to learn that.

  11. I am definitely a procrastinator. I was always the one who wrote their five page paper the night before it was due, or wait until the day people are coming over to clean!! It is the pressure of a deadline that makes me want to work harder, but it's not always a good thing. You get stressed out or at least are in a big rush in the minutes or hours leading up to the deadline!

  12. You sound just like my husband, Sarah!!