Dead Lines

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 • 6 Comments on Dead Lines

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Somehow, I seem to have missed a bunch of January deadlines. Now I’m looking at the upcoming slate of anthologies and the deadlines are March, April, May, June… which seems so far in the future, but I know those January deadlines I missed seemed far in the future when I heard about them the first time, too. Between pregnancy, baby and editing anthologies, I’ve let myself get rusty about submitting my own work in the past couple of years. I need to remedy that. Now. 

Rejections suck, but you know what’s worse than rejection? Seeing a pretty, shiny new anthology with a theme I adore and knowing that I didn’t even bother to submit a story. I hate that feeling worse than a rejection.

So I have all of these upcoming deadlines lined up on my Mac in a neat little row and my goal is to submit to each of them at least 2 weeks (preferably 4 weeks) prior to the deadline listed on the calls for submissions. I’m tempted to go through and actually change the deadline dates just to trick my mind into meeting my own self-imposed goal. But I’m afraid it will be like my bathroom clock, which is set a few minutes fast and from which I always automatically deduct those extra minutes when I check the time (thereby making myself late anyway).  I’ll play fair with myself for now, but that’s my goal and I’m going to try to stick to it.  Which means I have 4 weeks to get those March stories out the door…

Anyone else have any little “rules” for themselves to make sure they don’t miss deadlines? Or am I the only deadbeat writer?

::cricket chirp::

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Posted by Kristina in Writing
  • I wonder if you might find that the fake-deadline thing would work for you where the bathroom-clock thing doesn’t. I say this because although the clock thing never worked for me, what *does* work is telling myself—if I need to leave the house at 11:15 to be confident of getting somewhere on time—that I need to be ready to leave at 11:00. For whatever reason, this approach enables me to take the early deadline seriously… and then, when I’m inevitably running a little behind, I’m still actually out the door before the real deadline. (Maybe this works for me, where the rigged clock doesn’t, because it has an internal rather than external locus?)

  • Kristina says:

    That’s actually an excellent point, J. I did once accidentally put a June 1 deadline on something that was really June 15 and managed to get it turned in by May 31. wink Of course, that was pure accident… but perhaps when these calls go out, I need to just change the dates then. With months of lead time, I’ll likely forget I’ve adjusted the dates… right? wink

  • Jo says:

    No, I have a horrible, terrible feeling I might miss yours :(

  • Dayle says:

    I’m pretty good about making deadlines usually, just because it’s been hammered into me by my writing mentors. But I missed one of the January deadlines…it came down to the wire, and I just wasn’t inspired, and so I let it go. I’ve been trying to cut myself some slack because of other things going on in my life – writing anything, much less erotica, is hard enough when you’re worried about a loved one in the hospital!

    I don’t really have any tricks, other than making up a calendar and marking when things are due, and then plotting out what days to work on what projects so they all get done when they’re supposed to.

    I wish I could train my brain to get things in early, though. I tend to be mailing everything on the deadline day. I wonder if the fake deadline would work for me, if I just slotted everything two weeks early? Although the clock thing never works for me, either, I could see me just forgetting I’ve changed the due dates. (Sad but probable!)

  • Kristina says:

    Dayle, I like your straightforward way of managing deadlines. I used to be more organized, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside…

    Emerald, I can use the pregnancy/baby/anthology excuse, but at the end of the day it’s still just an excuse. I need to be better at managing my time and putting my efforts into the things I value most, which includes writing.  (Hope you’re feeling better soon!!)

  • Emerald says:

    Oh, Kristina, I so hear you on all of this.  Except, um, I don’t have a baby, pregnancy, or editing anthologies as excuses….  Anyway, I especially appreciate your line about seeing a pretty new anthology and knowing you didn’t even get anything submitted for it. 

    I have a chart of upcoming deadlines too, and while I can hardly imagine actually submitting to all of them four weeks before the deadline, I would really like to get off my ass and do so at least, you know…four minutes before or so.

    All that being said, right now I am in the midst of—and I’m really hoping on the tail end of—a hideous cold to which I’ve been bowing since Saturday, which has not seemed motivating to productivity at all.  (I did do a little bit of editing between naps today though.)

    “perhaps when these calls go out, I need to just change the dates then. With months of lead time, I’ll likely forget I’ve adjusted the dates… right?”

    That actually seems somewhat likely to me.  Worth a shot perhaps!  smile

    “making up a calendar and marking when things are due, and then plotting out what days to work on what projects so they all get done when they’re supposed to”

    Jeez, Dayle, as simple as that sounds, it seems like a remarkably good idea to me right now, lol.  I’ve gotten as far as the calendar/chart, but I haven’t really assigned particular days to work on particular stories.  Maybe that would help keep me (um, get me…) on track!

    Heh…my verification word is “perform41.”  smile

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