the magic of deadlines

I waited so late to post this because of the awesome conversation Nora’s post was generating and… because I am frantically trying to dig out of the pile of trouble I seem to dwell in of late.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I had a hell of a time getting my second novel right. This was especially frustrating because the first novel was so easy (well, in retrospect at least). I actually started my Eli novel as a break from my serious fantasy I was bludgeoning to death at the time. So to have hair pulling, teeth gnashing, entire novel re-writing problems on the second book of my light adventure fantasy series was almost an insult.

However, the novel is now written, through its first edit and well into its second, still, things are behind schedule, and so I was forced to ask my editor for an extension, which she kindly gave, along with a hard deadline of August 17.

Is this a wall I see before me?

It’s not that I can’t get the novel done. As I said, it is done. It’ s just not… done done. Like, “I am proud to let others see my accomplishment” done, which is funny because it’s way more polished than Eli novel 1 was when I first started sending it to agents. And then there’s the small matter of the MOUNTAIN of work I’m doing for my day job, all the times pregnancy is kicking my ass and making me sleep 10 frigging hours a day (COME ON). Bitch, bitch, moan, moan, etc.

And yet, funny enough, for all this in my way, that hard deadline had gotten me going like nothing else has. Right now I’m focusing on day job work because starting Monday I’m taking 2 weeks paid vacation to do nothing but edit my butt off (or my character’s butts off, depending on your point of view). I’m effecient, I’m focused, I’m… a bit of a raging workaholic, but I’m getting things done like I haven’t for weeks.

It’s the sight of the cliff ahead that has me really pushing like I need to push to do this, and for me, this is a big thing. I’ve never been someone who’s motivated by deadlines. I keep myself moving, mostly, and while deadlines are good for setting goals, I never put much motivational stock in them… until now!

I just hope all this gung-ho rushing doesn’t make me blind to the horror that is my novel, but I’m feeling good about my story and maybe, just maybe, I can finally… FINALLY be done with this novel that has eatten so much of my life.

2 Responses to “the magic of deadlines”

  1. August 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I think I have the same perfectionist streak as you. I just finished the second (biggest) revision of my Book 2, turned it in ahead of schedule… then promptly started tweaking it again. -_- I need deadlines, to stop me from revising again.

    But my big problem thus far is finding a start for Book 3. I have the plot clear in my head, and can’t wait to get to some of the funner bits of it… but I ::grits teeth:: cannot find the right voice. Seriously, I’ve started this novel 6 times now.

    ::sigh:: I’ll know it when I find it, and probably speed along once I do. But I’d hoped to finish this book early, dammit.

    Anyway, congrats on doing all this with job and pregnancy and whatnot too — I’ve got none of that, so you’re making me feel lazy!

  2. 2 rachelaaron
    August 2, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I have been in the voice flouder too! I had this amazing novel, with the amazing plot, but I could not find the right way to tell it for the life of me.

    And the pregnancy pretty much goes on without my input, so I don’t really feel like I’m working on that one 😀

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