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:
DEADLINES IN DECEMBER STINK!
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!