Way back here, almost a year ago, when I was just getting started with The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide, I posted about how I seriously dislike deadlines.
Boy, that feels a long time ago.
Since, then I’ve met several deadlines, and all of them have felt pretty good. Probably because, as I wrote more of the book, as my critique group did their wonderful slicing and dicing, and as the book started taking it’s true, whole form, the nervousness I was feeling about it died down. Which is good.
I didn’t expect, though, to find myself actually enjoying a deadline.
This week, I’ve been working on page proofs. In the “old” days, this would have meant the publisher mailing me (as in stuff envelope, apply stamps, drop in mail slot) the physical proofs, that I would have read through with red pen in hand.
Nope. My editor emailed me a PDF of the pages, with instructions for basically typing of a list of things I find that may need to be fixed. Because I can be slightly anal, I set up a table for this–just one column for the page number and another for “Change this to this.” (All dependent on my editor’s blessing, of course!)
This is what I’m doing for the next few days. This is all I’m doing.
And, you know, it’s kind of relaxing.
There’s something peaceful, for a small chunk of time, about having one project–one project only–asking for my attention. I’m not working on anything else, because this deadline takes priority. I take my laptop over to the comfy couch, get my tea, put the Internet on Pandora (wondering WHY The Rolling Stones are showing up on my Van Morrison station), and I read. I read, then stop, make a note, and read some more.
And, okay, it doesn’t hurt that I”m feeling a huge sense of relief and delight that–yes, many drafts after that first deadline–I’m still loving this book.
How do you feel about deadlines? What’s your favorite way to dig into the work that has to be done?