Friday, 21 May 2010

Doing the Deadline Dance - Linda Strachan

There's this dragon who sits above my desk - WATCHING me,  especially when I am not writing.

He's quite a benign dragon, most of the time, and with the open book and quill in his hand it is obvious that he knows a bit about writing.

Then there's the little researcher sitting on a pile of books at his side.... At times I envy them their diligence and wish I could join in the discussion, as they debate the work in progress.

Writing can be a solitary business and there are times when I am easily distracted by the internet, emails and to be honest almost any other little job that needs doing and will 'just take a moment' but then takes most of the day.

Why, when writing is the one thing I want to be doing, is it always the most difficult thing to settle down to?

 Give me a date as a deadline and I will be stretching the minutes before midnight so that I can meet it, knowing that if I had started earlier ...

But for some reason it doesn't matter how long I have I still find I am rushing at the last minute. In fact a short deadline is better because I procrastinate less, there just isn't as much time to waste before getting started.

So I sit here once more, as one day turns to another, trying to ignore the growling from my impatient dragon as I do my latest Deadline Dance to get this blog written, promising him I will try to do better tomorrow.

Do you have any tricks to beat the Deadline Dance?  I would love to hear them.

My latest book Dead Boy Talking is published June 2010  
Visit my website -
 Follow my blog  - Bookwords -


karen ball said...

I put a weekly word count in my calendar, creeping upwards to a finished draft in a decent stretch of time. If I see my word count falling behind its weekly quota, I know I'm in trouble. I think you're only human, though, Linda. I can't claim to always meet my word count quotas!

Miriam Halahmy said...

Very familiar. Plan a treat after an hour. Gives you a goal and a reason to keep the bum on the seat.

Joan Lennon said...

Yes, breaking a big chunk of time into tiny bitesized pieces and then nibbling ...
Even when I don't have a deadline, I make them up. Open-ended time is way too scary.

Mary Hoffman's Newsletter said...

Oh, I do so identify with this! I put it down to my journalistic background. I need to feel the fear.

Nicola Morgan said...

I used to do work as soon as i was given it and had no need of deadlines. Now I need to see the whites of the deadline's eyes! I don't know why.

But, more to the point, Linda - I know this is the wrong place to say it but I'm here - I am SO sorry i haven't been in touch for so long. Moving house (twice), having a book out, and blog-touring madly in all directions have destroyed my normal friendly habits. I am still here and I would love to see you soon! (EIBF launch?) Hope you are well. Nx

Linda Strachan said...

Thanks everyone!
I like the idea of weekly word counts, Karen but not sure it would work- I will try it though. I found the spring word challenge with other scattered authors was a real spur on last year.
Oooh treats, Miriam, what a good excuse for chocolate.
Thanks Joan, but breaking into bite-sized chunks (oh dear, food again - there goes the diet once more.)
Yes Mary & Nicola I think I probably need the buzz from a looming deadline coming at me like an express train- yes it probably is the fear,too, Mary, perhaps I just work better that way?

Nicola, don't be silly - no idea where you get the energy to do all that as it is. I'll be in touch and we can organise something.