Saturday, August 23, 2008

Give me pressure! Give me a deadline!

I've learned something about myself recently that I didn't know. It surprised me a little bit but hey, such is life, right? Anyway, I've realized that I work much better under pressure. This summer was crazy for me with writing deadlines. I had a novel due August 1, a short story due August 31, a 30k novella due September 1 and a 20k novella due October 1 (maybe I should say end of summer/fall). The thing with me is having all those things on my plate drove me crazy (in a good way). I was excited, knowing I had that many contracts, that I would have that many books released but I HATE to have things hanging over my head so much that the pressure of the deadlines looming makes me want to work even when I don't feel like it. I'm the type that has to be early on everything. I pile the pressure on myself to make sure I'm done before I need to be (my editor loves me, LOL). I had my novel done in June, the short and the first novella in July and the second in August. I gave myself a schedule of how much I needed to write each week, and a timeline of when I wanted to have those things done. The weight I put on my own shoulders is more than what my editor gives me. When I have a deadline I have a need to be done early. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Otherwise it seems I feel like taking my sweet time. After getting all my writing done I took about a week off. I have no deadlines, no responsibilities right now. My goal is to finish my first book to submit to NY before I have to start the third book in my Friday's at Luciano's series. Guess what?? I'm not writing nearly as much as I did the first half of the year. Without those deadlines I do only a page or two a day. I don't know why. I like the story, like the characters. I'm excited to write something for NY but without the pressure of a due date I'm dragging my butt about it. I'm not finding myself in a rush. Its kind of nice but its also kind of driving me crazy. I like that rush, the deadline, the goals of five pages a day that I HAVE to stick with. I've tried to give myself the same deadlines I did while writing my for my publisher but its like I know I don't have to stick with it so I'm not. FRUSTRATING! I mean, for current or future editors I think this is a good thing. They'll always know they'll get my books on time, hell they'll get the early but for myself its a little disheartening. I want to know I can give myself the same deadlines and I'll stick with them.

My friend assured me it wasn't just me. This little "problem" of mine can be related to tons of other aspects of life and maybe a lot of people are this way to. The house needs cleaned? It can wait a few hours but if you know someone is coming over, you get up and clean the house early, am I right? Please tell me I'm not alone is this (yes I'm begging :))

One last thing, my dear friend Tonya, Craft Goddess started her own crafting blog. She'll be blogging about all her crafting adventures, posting pictures, sharing ideas. Its a really neat blog! Be sure to check out Ribbon~Paper~Ink


Regina Carlysle said...

Rest easy!!!! You are NOT ALONE in the universe. I thrive on deadlines too. If I know I have one, I'm motivated and just thrive on it. So true about the housecleaning thing. I'll let it wait and wait but if company's coming I'm like that Tazmanian Devil whirling around. With the deadlines, there's a rush of adrenaline, I think, that's keeps us motivated and moving forward.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Yes, Reg. YOu said it perfectly.

Anny Cook said...

I, on the other hand, do not work well with external deadlines. I work best with internal ones where I set a minimum to accomplish, giving myself permission to "begin again" if there are outside things that interfere.

Likely, that's because I spent YEARS with enormous external stresses. Time to dial back now.

Cleaning? Only do it when company comes... that's pretty much twice a year. Otherwise, it's just picking up once in a while.

Anne Rainey said...

Kelley I'm this way too. I have little to no self discipline. As a result I've learned to confide in my husband about my WIPs, he'll give me a daily push by asking how many pages I've gotten done. Knowing he's going to ask keeps me focused because I know if I don't get them done he'll drill me on why. LOL He's good seeing when I'm making excuses and when I really did have other things that needed done. If I'm just making excuses he'll get on me about it. Sometimes it gets annoying, but he's helped me a lot because he does keep me focused. He's sort of like an agent, only he's not getting paid. LOL

Kelley Nyrae said...

Anny, I just can't seem to make myself listen to my internal ones. I see your point though. Driving back the stress sounds nice.

Anne, I might have to get my hubby to do the same thing!

Tonya said...

Deadlines of any sort are what keep me driven and push through to get it ALL done. If I don't have a deadline I put it off way too long!!!

I can't remember, are you a list girl Kell? I write everything down before I go to bed that has to be done the next day....I don't always get everything done but how about including WRITE 5 PAGES on your daily TO DO LIST! Make sure you put it high enough on your list that you stare at it all day...then if you don't do it....the next night include WRITE 10 PAGES. I bet by day 2 or 3 you will start getting those 5 pages done. =)

Thank you, I do hope to have fun and show some cool stuff that can be adapted to your needs as well as some inspiring and very creative stuff. It's all about having fun! That's the goal! =)

Molly Daniels said...

I'm with Anny. I do better with my internal deadlines...although the six-month one I just went through was okay; I finished 30 days early. But NaNo's 30 day one made me an absolute BEAR to live with! My kids were so happy when it was over!

Kudos to you for getting everything finished; I don't think I could have handled it.

Alisha said...

I hear ya! I'm on deadline right now and boy is it hard while on constant suicide watch! My baby is into everything and the playpen is not working. He screams his head off! So, I'm sucking down the coffee, forcing myself to stay up late and write into the wee hours. I have about 8 days to write another 15,000 words, edit, polish and send it off to my editor. But I've done it before and I know I can do it again...wish me luck!

Kelley Nyrae said...

Tonya, you're tough! You're right though. Love your list idea and adding the pages to the next day.

Molly, Thanks!

Alisha, wow. Good luck! My little one doesn't do the playpen thing either.

Destiny Blaine said...

As always, great post. I'm with you on deadlines. Give me a little squeeze and I'll get those books to you. :))

Big hugs,

Kelley Nyrae said...

Thanks Destiny.