Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year, Same old Deadline

My deadline still looms.

But there again, deadlines always loom.It is part of the nature of the business, particularly when you are under contract.

Get several authors together and they will start mentioning deadlines stories. Sometimes, I get the feeling that these become a bit like -- you think that was bad, wait until you hear this...
Then you hear tales of all nighters, and being glued to the chair but in the end, they pulled off this fantastic best seller.

Normally at this point, I want to slink under the chair as I know pulling an all nighter is beyond me and it certainly will not produce much beyond gibberish. I salute each and every author who can pull this off, but it is not me. Just as getting no revisions is not me. It does not mean I am a worse writer. It simply means that I am different. And there is NO correct way to write a book.

Don't get me wrong. I hate, loathe and destest missing deadlines. I like being reliable. I think it stems from the fact that my father was always late.
I will move heaven and earth to make them, but I want to produce a quality product. So at the moment, I know this ms will be finished by the contracted deadline, but I want some time to edit and to bring it up to my standard.

And for every author, each deadline brings its own problems because each story is unique. Some write themselves and others seem to take time. This one is taking me longer for a variety of reasons. I am enjoying it and I do think in the end, it will be a fantastic read.

Ultimately editors want quality manuscripts. Editors tell tales of writers who were seventeen years late. Authors being late with delivery happens. Editors want to work with authors. They do not want them to suffer burnout.
I am currently waiting to hear back from my editor who has repeatedly said -- quality, Michelle. And deadlines are moveable feasts. Also there is a question of how late is late.

So we shall see.
And writing remains one of the best jobs in the world.


Nell Dixon said...


Lucy Diamond said...

Hear, hear! I have some shocking deadlines ahead this month and keep finding myself playing Tetris and checking out interesting-looking blogs instead of knuckling down...
I am slinking off the internet immediately to do some work, quick!

Kate Hardy said...

Hugs. Know exactly how you feel (I've just moved mine). It will get better.

Michelle Styles said...

Thank you.

And it did get moved.