Douglas Adams once said: “I love deadlines. Especially the whooshing sound they make as they pass by.”
Well, welcome to my life and welcome to the grand whooshing sound!
I am told that writers can feel a lot of pressure to meet publisher deadlines. It’s something new to me. My first novel took ten years to complete, an on-again off-again labor of love, as I maintained a full-time job. Now that I have a publisher writing has become almost a task, a job to be completed (as if I need another job), a daily word count goal that must be maintained, or else.
For most a deadline can either move ahead easily or be very daunting, depending on the work, the publisher, and what’s going on in your life at the time. I am fortunate. I have a publisher who seems to be forgiving, a publisher who is reasonable and looks for quality storytelling instead of word counts.
You need more time Mr Mazza?
Yes, I do. I have a Companion book and two more novels to write. Remember, the first book took me ten years to complete.
How much more time do you require Mr. Mazza?
Oodles! You know no one is more qualified to get this done!
Perhaps Mr. Mazza. Ok. Let us see.
Yet, even though deadlines can be extended, the new target date is but a new deadline, an extended sense of horror and fright. At the end of the day, the only deadline is the one I give myself.
How can I deal with these deadlines? I remain, calm and focused. I plan my goals week-by-week, instead of day-by-day, to avoid any low feelings. I also try to encourage myself by setting my own personal deadlines while compiling a potential manuscript – deadlines such as, I shall go 2-weeks without writing, then finish at least one chapter in one-weeks’ time. After all, this is my novel, and I write first for myself. I believe this practice really helps. But don't let the publisher hear this!
So, for my fans, both the Companion book and the second book are delayed. It is my hope I can finish both before the end of 2015 but I make no guarantees.
In the meantime, Omni has done a wonderful job working on new graphics and a new map of the Harrow. This blog has a portion of the map that will appear in the Companion book and future books. You will see it in this blog and if you click on the map it will enlarge.
It seems that even though I write pretty much year-round, I definitely do less when a deadline is looming.