Sunday, May 22, 2011

Double D

I set crazy deadlines for myself. I’ve always been super Type A so I set unrealistic deadlines, and gosh darn it—I ALWAYS meet them. Memorizing lines, completing homework, grading papers, putting together photo albums—always a target date set. Without deadlines, I can’t function. I really don’t think I’d ever get anything accomplished.

Naturally, I set deadlines for my writing too. In fact, I detail them in my planner. By the end of this month, I will (insert practically impossible goal). Believe it or not, usually I achieve most of my goals and meet most of my self-imposed deadlines. But not lately. I started my current WIP back in September. I wanted to finish by January. I mean, I wrote each of my first two projects in four months. I should be able to do that with every story, right?


In November (and then again in January) I got side-tracked with revisions on a previous project so I reset my deadline to March. Then to May. May 31.

And it's May 22.


I don’t know if it’s just this year, but things have been insane-o hectic. There’s been a lot of stuff going on that I need to do. Tutoring. Watching my son’s t-ball games. Chauffeuring my daughter to dance. Grading papers. But also stuff I don’t. Like check my Facebook every five seconds. Or obsess over my junk-riddled garage (that’s been like that for seven years). Or watch Easy A every time it’s on TV (I can now recite the John Hughes speech verbatim). Uh-huh. Self-destroying weapons of mass distraction.

Result: I’m making limited progress on my WIP’s rough draft. And my May 31 deadline is rearing its ugly head. And I get mucho upset with myself when I don’t meet these unrealistic self-imposed deadlines.

Guess who’s been rather depressedamundo lately?

*inches hand up*


Distractions + Deadlines = mucho Deadly for the WIP (and for me)

So I temporarily eliminated some distractions in my life. At first I was crazed—there was a distraction with thinking about not having the distractions. But now I hardly think about it. And guess what? I’m actually making a bit more progress on the WIP. The deadline looms, but I’m okay with extending it as long as I’m making substantial progress.

Last week, YA Highway’s Road Trip had us writing about rewards. The timing was bizarre. Just a day earlier I had decided to use my eliminated distractions as a incentive. When I’m done the rough draft, I get to indulge in them.

Any thing distracting YOU from getting the job done? Are any of the distractions eliminate-able? If they are, get rid of them. Trust me. It’s sooooo freeing. In so many ways.


  1. I hate distractions. I'm very much an A personality and set tough deadlines. However, my husband is not an A personality and will often plan things on the fly and without informing me. Drives me mad! I think I'm currently in a similar dilemma. I hope things improve for you soon.

  2. I breezed through the writing of my first few books, and then the process became slower, and slower, and slower...
    Right now, I have so many things going on, it's difficult to focus properly on any of them.

  3. I've changed my cleaning schedule. That's helped some. And, I keep my cell turned off during my writing hours.

  4. I am Type A too, as you know, but just remember this: You can't keep it up ALLLLL the time. Or you'll go insane. Promise.

    I remind myself of this every once in a while. Then, I reassess, try to set more realistic goals -- and that usually quells the guilt & depression.

  5. I know how you feel right now :P I've really slacked off lately with my revisions. But I don't feel too guilty, as I had worked like crazy before that. Probably needed the break!

  6. omg, distractions everywhere, right?
    But I'm glad that you've been strong enough to cut some! YAY for you! :D

  7. I don't think I'm Type A at all but I am addicted to writing which helps :) I was working on the same thing every day printing off some stanzas to work on and when I took a 'break' from it and worked on picture books again I felt like such a slacker, but I have a new way of doing picture books too and it cuts out a few drafts of rubbish so I'm happy with it. Love the ant cartoon! It sounds like you are achieving a lot, good luck.

  8. I'll need to look at some of my distractions and see what I can eliminate. Mostly, though, life is just busier somehow and I have things that must come ahead of writing. Sigh.

    Good luck with your deadlines!

  9. Bejeweled ALWAYS distracts me from getting the job done.

    Good luck on getting your draft done. I'm pushing my way to complete revisions by month's end too.


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