Thursday, March 4, 2010

Deadline: a double 4 letter word

Yes, I've been in this business longer than I care to admit, and every year as we hit deadlines it's bedlam and mayhem all over again.  And yet, there's a certain amount of adrenlin that goes with it.  Each year has it's own personality at deadline times and this one is no exception. 

I've been wound up, preparing for this year, anticipating what's coming and how to meet the unreasonable demands.  You do what you can ahead of time, and then when time runs out, you hope you make it through.  Well, we did make it through the first round, my team and me. (pats on the back all around).  Ready for the next one.  It's rapid fire this time of year.

Along with the day job, there is the writing deadline aspect of things.  Yes, some of us thrive on the adrenalin rush, and yes there are times you don't think you're going to pull through.  Riding on a wave of achievement, I'm reflecting on the writing tasks ahead of me.  I'm still editing Epitaph, I'm nearly finished with the one after that one and I have one "on the shelf" that continues to tug at me to make it more saleable.  Then, there's my first book, which I've had a number of recent sales on and which I believe is outdated (almost ten years since its publication date).  The thought runs through my head to update it.  All projects that vie for my attention.

The most important part about deadlines, however, is prioritization.  Knowing what has to go first and what can wait.  With the Chicago conference coming up next month, there is some preparation I have to do.  With a little luck, I'll have an agent/publisher meeting to pitch Epitaph, in which case I'll need to finish those edits (for my own peace of mind - they won't be looking at it at the conference).  I have to pull together promos for the book signing and yes, I'm still juggling that pesky day job that pays the bills. 

Sometimes life works in concert with you, though, and you have to take advantage of those opportunities.  This is one of those years where things are in alignment, so the deadlines aren't quite so scary this time around.  It's just a matter of pushing through them and making sure you get done what needs to be done ahead of time so that when that last day hits, you're ready for it.

This year - I'm ready!

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