Holy Deadline, Batman!

Back in November, I received an e-mail from my editor.

My FIRST editorial letter. I was giddy with excitement!

A little while later, she sent a follow up e-mail noting my FIRST deadline of 12/16/11.

Again, excitement bubbled out of this newly contracted debut author! A deadline! And it wasn’t so scary… all those silly published authors who complained about being “on deadline” were going to eat my socks, because I was going to make my deadline and triumph.

That said, I KNEW that someday I’d have that pit-in-stomach at the dreaded deadline. But not now. This was a fun “first” and I was determined to enjoy it!

Then I read my wonderful first (16 page long!) editorial letter. The word “overhaul” was used at least once. That is enough to put fear into the heart of ANY debut author!

I looked back at my deadline and cried.

Then pulled my bootstraps up to my armpits and dug in. For the first week or two, I determined to be organized about my massive rewrite/edit that was going to be needed. I made sticky notes, printed out the edits and manuscript and started to carefully plot a plan.

Then Thanksgiving happened. Read: First time making a turkey for my extended family of 17, at MY house, while my 4 kids were off school. So there blew a whole week.

When I came out of my turkey and Black Friday enduced fog, reality slapped me in the face.

My deadline was fast approaching, and I was still in my planning stages. And I had presents to purchase. Weekends filling up. Doctor and therapy appointments for my special-needs daughter coming out my ears.

I’m here to tell you:


I tried. I really really did. My house resembles a warzone as I haven’t cleaned it in about two weeks.

I’ve made frozen pizza and frozen waffles for dinner WAY too much.

I made my daughter dig through the dirty laundry on at least two occassions for jeans to wear to school as I had edited instead of doing laundry.

And when I DID do said laundry, folding it was not in the cards. It laid heaped in a large pile covering half of my bedroom floor for a week, and kids were required to dig through it for school clothes. You think I’m exaggerating. I am not.

Deadline-Eve came. And I was still a good ways from being done, and not pleased about the work I had done, mostly because I was in “hurry” mode instead of “quality” mode. So I did the one thing I had refused to allow enter my brain.

I e-mailed my agent and told her how much I hate December deadlines and that if I turned this in on the 16th, it’d royally sucked.

She in turn got me a couple day extension.

So now, today is my NEW deadline. And as I got through the final read through, I fully plan to push send later today and meet my revised deadline.

I am officially a humbled, thankful debut author. Never again will I look at deadlines the same!

Now, I have to go finish my edits. Wish me luck!

This entry was posted in Writer's Life, Writing and tagged , , , by Krista Phillips. Bookmark the permalink.

About Krista Phillips

Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and a contemporary romance author. She recognizes that life can be frustrating and just plain not fun sometimes, but believes that laughter and smiles can make the not-so-fun a little better! She blogs about the amazing things God has been doing and her journey as a busy momma of 4 and caregiver to a daughter with a rare congenital heart defect at http://www.kristaphillips.com. Her novel, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance, released in September 2012.

30 thoughts on “Holy Deadline, Batman!

    • Melissa, I’m not completely sure what “common” is because these were my first edits. I’m sure timing depends on publishing house, production schedules, and depth of edits. I think a month is, from what I’ve heard from others, pretty average to maybe a little more than usual. My edits were pretty substantial, but all SPOT ON and will (hopefully!) make my novel much better!

      You can ALWAYS get unvarnished truth from me. HA!

      • Krista I’m exhausted just reading all of that! 🙂 Congratulations, though. How exciting for you. Isn’t it crazy to really want to do something that makes you so…CRAZY?!! 🙂
        I hope you’ll keep us posted on your progress. I hope to be in your shoes one day and it’s nice to know ahead of time what to expect. Good luck with your editing. I hope you’re able to soak in the whole experience and savor it!

  1. Congratulations, Krista! Deadlines are hard. And December deadlines are even worse. You did well, my dear. Now enjoy the rest of your holiday month! Blessings.

    • Thanks! The deadline thing I could handle… it’s the December thing that about killed me this first time! But… a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do!

  2. Wow, Krista. I’ve never had a December deadline. Don’t know how I’d cope if I did. Congrats to you on your hard work AND on managing this post as well. It’s a great one!

    • LOL, I wrote this blog Monday morning in about five minutes in my hurry to get as much done so I could sit down to edits. So please, for give me probably LACK of editing on said post, HA!

  3. Krista… I can so relate to the December madness. The last three years I’ve had major writing things to do in Dec. If I ever become “famous”–I think I’m having a clause where nothing is due until Feb. It’s why I gave up doing Nano in Nov.

  4. Krista, I had to chuckle when I read your post. I think you and I think alike. Organize. Make a good plan. Work the plan. Unfortunately, life happens to interrup the plan, especially during the holidays! So glad you were able to get a revised deadline and to meet it. I’ll keep your lessons learned in mind if/when I am in your place.

    I’m really looking forward to reading your book! Enjoy the rest of your Christmas season! 🙂

  5. Krista, I must agree – DEADLINES IN DECEMBER STINK! Technically, mine is Jan. 4th, but it has certainly put a damper in the holiday festivities. It’s a blessing to have a contract and face a deadline, don’t get me wrong. But, balancing holidays with deadlines gives me a stomach ulcer. My tree is up, but void of any decorations. My fall decorations still proudly adorn my house. Ugh! I’m disappearing to a cabin getaway from Jan 1-4th so I can finish up well. Then I’ll sleep for 3 days. 🙂 Blessings!

  6. I laughed a few times, not at you, with you. And I sadly understand the lack of exaggeration. Happy problem, debut novel edits :), but I don’t envy the lesson learned.

  7. I recently submitted something — and the email bounced back. After an hour and a half of phone calls and testing, my submission was finally received.
    In my case, I wasn’t up against a deadline — and am sure glad I wasn’t; the stress would have been too much!

    • Stress is all about how you handle it… I try to teach my kids that. If you make it out to be super stressful, then it’s gonna be super stressful. Edits, well, they are stressful regardless of my mindset, HA!

  8. I’m impressed you made time for a blog post when you must be totally stressing out. Best of luck to you, Krista! I’ll sure you’ll make it! (:

  9. Brava!! You did it. It sounds like it was quite the ordeal … but you did it. And that book will be published and you’ll do a whole new version of the happy dance!!
    Now, go celebrate with your family — celebrate the finished edits, celebrate one another, and celebrate Christmas!

    • I pushed send at 6:09 this morning. Yes, after staying up ALL NIGHT finishing. *yawn* First I sleep. THEN I will celebrate. (although my kids will be up in a half hour…great joys!)

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