Monday, August 13, 2018

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines....

There was a time when I never, ever missed a deadline.

I think it lasted roughly a month.

I try very, very hard to make sure I hit deadlines, but sometimes it simply isn't going to happen.

When I started out I would say "yes" to very nearly impossible deadlines regularly. Why? Because I wanted the work and I was willing to make the sacrifices.  Who needs sleep when you have coffee?

Now and then that philosophy backfired and life got in the way.  The day job required more time (Retail does that), or the family needed some help. Then you have to start weighing what is more important.

Know what else you have to do? You have to communicate. There is usually at least a little flex time in what you are told as a deadline. Maybe not much, but some.

Look on the right side of the screen and you'll see a cover for my Predator novel.  When I was writing that everything that could go wrong did. First, there were changes in the script, They made the movie better in my opinion, but they were there and that meant reevaluating all of the source material before I could start writing my novel. Heck, I had to rewrite my outline before we could proceed. That was a decent slow down, but not crippling.

No. What was crippling was falling the wrong way in ice and tearing two tendons in my shoulder and destroying my rotator cuff. I thought it was a sprain and tried to just power on through, but the pain was actually debilitating, I could not work for several weeks at the day job but I also could no write very much.  My beloved was wise enough to point out that Google Docs has a voice option. I employed it and things got better. But the voice option isn't flawless and a good deal of  clean up was required.

I was a little over a month late.

I did the unthinkable and told my editor the truth. We worked together to make it right. 

There are those situations where a book will be, by God, late. My mother going into hospice? No writing done while she left this world. My wife passing away? No work done while I tried to remember how to breathe, how to walk, how to go through the regular day without losing my mind. How bad was it I only recently pulled out and finished the novel I was writing when she passed away. It took me 8 years to get back to  even looking at that book. It took me a month to finish. but it was the book I worked on while my wife was on dialysis and dying by inches. I set it aside, I came back to it when I could.

Deadlines are flexible. If they weren't there would be no publishing industry.

I had a few deadlines after my wife passed what were delayed because I got lost in grief. I don't torture myself over those. I merely accept them and try to move on. I made it a point to explain to my editors. They were usually understanding. Sometimes I know it was inconvenient for them, but we worked it out.

 I'm a writer. I used my words.

No comments:

Post a Comment