So right now I feel very much like this hasty little fleabag…
The other day I opened up an email from Steve, my agent extraordinaire, asking for a progress report on Blades of Grass. (My last post explains why he’d be doing such a thing.) And while the truth is I am making pretty good progress on the manuscript, I never quite feel like I’ve done enough. And I suppose until I reach the end of the damn thing, I’ll never feel satisfied. Is there anything wrong with that? Probably not. I know I should ease up on myself and just let it come as it comes, but sometimes I need a little pressure to propel me toward the finish line.
I’m about 20-25K words away from that finish line, but I’ll get there. I asked Steve for a suggested deadline, in hopes that it would spur me on a bit. His initial response was, “No rush.” Part of me was thankful – I didn’t have to pump myself full of coffee and churn it out by next week! But another part was hoping for some sort of expectation on his end.
As if he could read my mind, which a good agent should be able to do, Steve wrote me back shortly afterward and put an end-of-summer soft deadline on the project. I’m glad he did. It adds a little weight. I mean, I can set my own deadlines all I want, but with only me to enforce them, they’re easy to break. Now somebody else’s livelihood (at least in a sense) depends on me finishing this book. Knowing that he has an expectation will help me get to that ever-elusive Point B.
Now I have a rough due date on my calendar that I must meet. Therefore, it’s back to the keyboard. In the words of the White Rabbit, “No time to say goodbye! Hello! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!”
Question to writers: How do you work when up against deadlines?