Saturday, March 11, 2017

Procrastination or Proactive?

The mere fact that I never write these SFF7 posts until the day before they're due to go live doesn't mean I procrastinate, right?

I'm very good with deadlines - the old day job at NASA/JPL was a place where if a deadline was missed, you might blow a launch window or an entire planetary encounter so....kinda had to meet the due dates on stuff. Mars is there in a certain spot of its orbit around the solar system when it's there, not a day earlier and not a day later. I did contracts, not science, but the principle was the same.We had gigantic systems to track deliverables, both flight hardware and contractual.

All my life, I've found that I do better if I work on something right before it's due, a day or a few days ahead. I need that feeling of urgency to do my best work. The thrill of possible danger and defeat? I don't know, I just require the emotional pressure.

If a project is huge and in multi parts, I may break it down into components and assign each of them its own due date, culminating in the entire thing being ready when needed. We call that the critical path in project management. Certain activities will hold up the entire effort while other things may be nice to have but really don't affect  overall success or failure. Being an indie author, I set all my own due dates and there's not too much fallout if I'm 'late'. I do like to keep releasing new books every three or four months so I have to maintain a certain amount of discipline.

For the author interviews I write for USA Today HEA, I have to get in touch with each author a certain amount of time ahead, give them time to answer the pithy questions, leave time for me to ask clarifying or backup questions, write the post and then leave my editor time to go over the column before it goes live. So I have mini deadlines all along the way.

What we have in our family is a problem known as 'dithering'. This happens when too many things show up on my To Do List and they all seem to have equal weight, so my internal deliverables' tracker gets overwhelmed and I can't work effectively on anything. So I kinda do nothing or go off and do something totally not on the critical path of any project. Binge watch "Top Chef" maybe, or go thrifting at my favorite  store - fun but not ultimately productive. And I'll feel faintly uneasy the entire time because I KNOW there are things I should have been doing instead.

If there's something I really don't want to do, I'll make myself assign the task a due date and then I will do it on that date. I might reward myself with chocolate later, and I might not schedule anything else stressful for the same day. but usually what I find out is that the item I was dreading isn't really that hard or scary or unpleasant. And it feels so good to cross it off my To Do List!

So I'm proactive about my procrastination....

In other news, my Lady of the Star Wind was selected as an EPIC eBook Award Finalist last week! WHEE! I've put the book on sale for $.99 in honor of the honor...

The story:
Are they merely luckless lovers … or a legend come back to life?
Mark Denaltieri, ex-Sector Special Forces, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue her granddaughter, Princess Alessandra, from kidnappers. Since the Empress once had him tortured and banished, she’s the last person Mark wants to work for. But he takes the job. He’ll save Alessandra, his first love, and discover why she didn’t speak for him when he desperately needed her. Then he’ll be on his way, finally free of his past.
Alessandra would rather her rescuer was anyone but Mark–after all, he let her believe he was dead all this time. But when the couple are forced to flee her captors by Traveling via a strange crystal globe, they find themselves in a lovely Oasis on a desert planet, the old attraction sizzling between them again.
They soon discover they are far from alone. The Oasis holds the entrance to another world, one in which the inhabitants are convinced Sandy and Mark are the Lady of the Star Wind and her Warrior, come to free them from an evil Queen.
Mark and Sandy must work together to unearth an ancient mirror, and crown the true king of this land.  Can they fulfill the prophecy of the Lady and her Warrior … and this time, will their love survive the test?
Buy Links:  iBooks     Amazon    KOBO     Barnes & Noble
Here's the gorgeous book trailer video Cheri Lasota did for me:

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