Deadlines, shattering of

12 Feb

This morning, I woke up fast, despite having been up until four in the morning last night. This was because the sound waking me up was not the melodious sound of my wife’s voice, nor the persistent sound of my cats’ voices, but the slightly unhappy voice of the bookstore owner, wondering why, if I was the one opening the bookstore this morning, the bookstore was unopened and I was not present.

Not the best way to get up. It got me up, though.

I discovered with a sick thud, once my brain had turned into a working component and not something I just carry around, that today’s February 12th. That means I have four days to make The Deadline. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that I still have 22,000 words to go. Half of one episode and the full text of the fourth episode.

Normally, when I get this crunched against a deadline, I just go without sleeping much. This is only marginally helpful here, since I’m already up until three or four in the morning.

I’m going to come very close to making it. I really am. Heck, I might still make it. Episode four might come to me as a gift from the gods, pre-wrapped and flowing onto the paper. But the odds are better that I’ll have to stop now and again during writing to figure out where I’m going, and how close it is to where I intended to go. I can’t be quite as free to wander when I’m writing serialized fiction. Or at least, I can wander all I want, but it has to be accounted for, so I don’t wander myself into a corner with no escape. Serial fiction is, essentially, writing in the public eye. I’m less willing to just head off blindly and face the possibility of breaking the whole thing. I don’t want people reading episode 25 and it ends on page 12 out of nowhere with“…sorry folks, I’m out of ideas. Hey, remember episode 15? Boy that was cool! Please do not try to make contact with me. My mail is being screened. Yours, the Author.”

I also discovered, yesterday, that while sitting inside, I had to remind myself that if I stepped outside, it was going to be sub-zero weather with snow on the ground. In my mind, it’s sunny and warm and green, with a gentle cool breeze. This means I’m either going a little bit nuts (a distinct possibility I haven’t ruled out) or else I’ve had enough of Minnesota winters and I’m ready for spring (more likely.)


That’s where I’m at.


Posted by on February 12, 2007 in crunching, deadlines, spring, winter, writing


7 responses to “Deadlines, shattering of

  1. TJWriter

    February 12, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Poor Pete! I hate it when I oversleep.

    *Fixes Pete a nice cup of tea.*

    I hope that your serial works out the way you want and in the proper time frame. Maybe you will get lucky and it all falls into place.

  2. Pete

    February 12, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    The nice thing is, because I’m doing it in four-episode batches, I have this lovely buffer built right in. So evne now, if I miss my deadline by a bit, it won’t affect the every-other-week-release in the slightest bit. And in a month or two, I can blow past deadlines by whole weeks and not fall even slightly behind.

  3. Melissa

    February 12, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Hang in there –you’re in the home stretch, Pete!

    Now, get ‘er done and get back to AW –the folks there are missing you.

    PS You’re not going crazy. I think we’re all beginning to get a bit of cabin fever

  4. Pete

    February 13, 2007 at 3:32 am

    (probably should have added in my original post that I’ve written around 45,000 words so far, done some comic scripting, written without sleeping….and am having the most fun ever. Immense fun. Delirious fun, although that could be the lack of sleep too.) 🙂

  5. Carrie

    February 14, 2007 at 12:00 am

    Good for you on getting so much done! Yippee!

  6. Manda86

    February 15, 2007 at 12:53 am

    I don’t think I will ever understand how writer can write with a deadline looming! I get the jitters just thinking about it, and I’m one of those people who performs really well under pressure (why else would I be becoming a lawyer?) but honestly, when it comes to writing…I hate anything interfering with the ‘sacred creative process’ lol!

  7. Pete

    February 15, 2007 at 1:19 am

    I like deadlines. Partly because it gives me a hard…er…deadline to give to my family and friends to say “Hey, can’t do anthing tonight, I’ve gotta have this many words finished by February 15th.”

    But partly….it’s just showing off. Even if I’m not showing off for anyone but myself. I like saying “I can write this many words in this many days,” and then actually doing it.

    Even when I don’t have deadlines, they sort of unconsciously build in my brain anyway. Even when I’m writing a story that no one’s waiting for, I get it in my head that I really should have it finished by tonight, or tomorrow night, or what have you.

    It’s probably one of the signs of a lunatic workaholic…:)


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