Sunday, September 07, 2008

Deadlines and committment

One of my favourite quotes comes from Douglas Adams. "Deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by." I just like his irreverence. Deadlines make me comfortable. I need that goal to work towards. Otherwise, I'd spend all my spare time on the couch listening to the rain and reading. That's not entirely true but it's accurate today.

I blew off two deadlines this week. One was for the library course. I thought the registration deadline was Friday. Instead of confirming that date, I signed into the website Tuesday night, three hours after the deadline passed. The good news is I'll have lots of time this Fall to work on my next project(still trying to decide which to go with), send out some queries and play with my new camera. The bad news is I'll have to take two classes in January in order to complete the certificate within five years.

The other deadline was to finish inputting and polishing Hell to Pay by Wednesday. I really worked on it. I could hear Wednesday whooshing up behind me. I ducked and wove but it still pushed past. I tired to catch it but no luck. It's frustrating. This Wednesday looms in my rearview mirror but I think I'm far enough in front to win this race.

No one has given me the deadline. It's self-imposed. I am committed to finishing this book. Dedication. Persistence. Commitment. They're all catch words of success. Everyone wants to know that you can deliver regardless of what life tosses your way. No one wants to hear the excuses, although they can be entertaining.

Mine aren't. There are only so many hours in a day and I spent too many of them on Monday looking for songs by Damien Rice and drooling over other people's photographs. Procrastination is a very bad trait I possess in equal parts to the persistence, dedication and commitment.

The real reason I dallied that day was my reluctance to let Alex go out into the big bad world without me. We've been together a long time. I'm going to miss him. But it's time to let him go. I have no doubt he'll do well. Maybe he'll drop me a postcard from time to time. I've enjoyed traveling the world with him.


  1. That's exciting to be so close to the finish line!
    (Now somebody help me pry... the manuscript... from her hands...)


    (And if the library people don't let you in, then clearly you were meant to spend more time agent hunting. It's a Sign.)

    almrqhl - alm or quill? (Why is 'alms' always seen as plural? Surely they're not like potato chips, and you really /can/ have just one.)

  2. But when Alex and Nea go their merry ways, you will have room in your life for the next set of characters. Besides I want Hell to Pay done and sold so I start eagerly awaiting a chance to go to one of your booksignings and to buy and read the book.

    You are right that deadlines help. I'm going to be finished with my WIP by the end of this month. Yep. By 9/30/08. I'll still have to go back and do some polishing but the biggest part of the work will be done.

    Thanks for inspiring me to set that deadline.