I was going to write this post a week ago, but…

You’re given a month’s notice of the impending deadline. A week goes by, then two. Soon, the day arrives. It’s time for your four-hour presentation. Or your in-laws are about to knock on your front door. Or it’s your uncle’s pet iguana’s birthday.

iguana

Igor at his birthday party.
(Image courtesy Patrick Buechner via Flickr)

But you’ve only rehearsed half your presentation,  you haven’t made the guest room bed and you have no present for Igor, the Iguana. Not even a card. You scramble to throw something together. Perhaps a handmade card, with a narwhal on it. Not your proudest moment, but for some of us it happens all too often.

norwal card

Image courtesy Laine Trees via Flickr.

Procrastination. We’re all guilty. I’m procrastinating right now. There are a few things I should be doing instead of writing this post: bathing my cats (Ha! Have you ever seen a wet cat??), researching the origins of the Snuggie, or actually working on my novel.

black wet cat

Image courtesy WATERBOYsh via Flickr.

gray wet cat

Image courtesy Julie Manzerova via Flickr.

annoyed wet cat

Image courtesy Belal Khan via Flickr.

happy wet cat

Weird–this cat actually looks happy.
(Image courtesy Felicity Rainnie via Flickr)

And the farther away the deadline, the more you procrastinate. Well, you tell yourself, you have days, weeks, or months to complete the task. Why worry about it now? There are so many cute cat pictures on Pinterest that need pinning. Then, depending on the size and scope of the project, panic sets in as the deadline approaches. Instead of working on the project little by little, you slam it all out in one caffeine fueled frenzy.

Unfortunately, this process works well for me. I become focused and feverish. And I always get the job done. Except when it comes to my book.

It’s funny. The thing that is most important to me, is the thing I procrastinate finishing the most. Maybe I think I don’t have enough time to dedicate to the project, or I tell myself that I should just get these two things done first, then I’ll edit. I want an uninterrupted block of time to work, and by the time I get those two other tasks done it’s time to watch Sleepy Hollow, and I can’t miss an episode of Sleepy Hollow.

sleepy hollow

Image courtesy Loren Javier via Flickr.

The real problem, though, is that I don’t have a deadline. There is no due date for my project and all these other tasks are time sensitive. The presentation is already scheduled, the in-laws have purchased their plane tickets, and Igor was born on November 28th.

So, I’ve decided to give myself a deadline: December 31st. I will have my entire manuscript edited and in the hands of my beta readers by the end of the year.

deadline

Image courtesy Kalexander2010 via flickr.

I’ll keep you posted throughout the month on my progress. My hope is that it will keep me motivated. Knowing that I will have to announce my progress to the world, or my lovely little group of followers, should be the push I need to disable my Netflix account and edit.

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33 thoughts on “I was going to write this post a week ago, but…

  1. suzjones says:

    Good luck with your self-imposed deadline. I hope it works for you.
    I have to say that I burst out laughing at your card with the narwhale. A couple of months ago my Tween (with her extremely vivid imagination) appointed herself as the leader of the narwhale federation (don’t ask). We had the most bizarre and hilariously funny conversations about this and it inspired some of her most humerous writing.

  2. Marcy says:

    OK, I have been avoiding the fact that Thanksgiving is looming and you know how I stress this holiday because everything is supposed to be Martha Stewart perfect on this day. Well, here it is, the day has nearly arrived despite my trying to forget about it. Oh, and then there is Christmas shopping. I really want to avoid thinking about that.

  3. Bre Faucheux says:

    Ha! Funny you should mention cats on Pinterest. I have been pinning pics of hair styles recently like a mad woman, trying to decide if I want to cut my bangs again for the billionth time and if they are a good idea or not.

    We all get into these schlumps of just not being able to write, not having the motivation, and just plane not wanting to. No worries. you will get through it and make the time for it when its there, calling your name.

    I want an uninterrupted block of time to work as well. But you want to know the secret? It doesn’t exist. Sometimes I have to write in spurts of literally ten minutes at a time before someone calls my name and asks for something or I have to leave and go do something. It’s tiresome, but sometimes its the only way. And when you do get that golden opportunity to sit down and hammer away, you will be ready for it. Eager for it in fact. (In my personal experience).

    Heard Sleepy Hollow is really good. I need to check it out. Been hooked on Sherlock and now I have to wait until January. Boo!

    • jennifer Windram says:

      I know, I need to get over the desire for hours of writing/editing time. I do get them every now and then, and I think that is why I keep hoping for one to come along. But I’m just going to have to work with I have 🙂

      Sleepy Hollow is good. I like the little bits of history sprinkled in. Haven’t tried Sherlock. Is it on Netflix? 🙂

      • Bre Faucheux says:

        Yes, I watched it on Netflix. Try it. You might like it.

        I am definitely going to check out Sleepy Hollow. Is that one on Netflix too?

        I hate the working with what I have motif. So I feel your pain. ♥

  4. gpeynon says:

    It’s funny; I actually love the editing process and often cannot drag myself away from the little red pen (figuratively speaking). It’s the writing of the initial draft that has me reaching for Netflix, the nearest book, or some other distraction.

  5. b00kreader says:

    I find deadlines to be good even if I don’t make good on them as they force me to move forward even if too slowly.

    By the way I worked at a groomers and believe me no wet cat is ever happy 😉

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Yeah, I haven’t done so well with my deadline so far, but it’s given me a little push. I probably shouldn’t have picked the holiday season to impose this on myself. But there is always something that comes up. Right?

      I agree. All the cats I know hate water. But he does seem happy in the picture. Probably Photoshopped 🙂

      • M. C. Dulac says:

        I’m so glad! This is true – I was reading one of those paranormal novels (as one does) that I’d borrowed from the library, and halfway through I thought “This is boring, where’s that book about Libby the vampire?” – and then I realised it’s not a book yet!! 😉

        • jennifer Windram says:

          Oh, that is so nice of you to say! It’s the greatest thing I’ve heard about my book, that’s not a book yet. I’m so glad you enjoy Libby. She’s been on a bit of a hiatus because I am super busy with work, but I’ll get back to her soon 🙂

  6. librarylady says:

    Poor kitties, ( I think they were secretly enjoying themselves). I too plan to have my book manuscript in the mail in the next few days. good luck to you. Don’t drink too much caffiene, and Happy Thanksgiving.

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