As any fule kno, whippets are far more reliable timekeepers
than any clock yet devised ...
I've written for horsey and dog magazines for many years now and as well as teaching me (amongst other things) how to write to length, I've also had to meet Deadlines.
I'm pretty good at them actually - and the tighter they are the better. I grumble, but rather than sinking beneath the pressure, I rise like a bird to meet it. I'm used to editors ringing me up and asking for an article on a certain subject and then apologetically saying that they need it in a hurry. I've had a few commissioned books come my way like that too.No problem: I work best when under pressure.
Admittedly, it has caused a certain amount of domestic friction in the past, when I've closeted myself away to work through long evenings. When I was on my own, working through the night, whether on an article or at the printers putting the magazine I edited to bed wasn't an issue. But when I moved in with my partner, there were times when he got cross about it. I remember one tight deadline, for a booklet I'd been asked to write on herbs and horses: 10,000 words and calling for a lot of research - in those days there was no internet. Mick got cross about the inordinate amount of time I was spending in my tiny study, surrounded by tottering piles of books and feverishly typing.
When I pointed out the impending Deadline, he was unmoved. When I told him that the job was worth £1000, he rather more cheerfully pushed me back into the study and brought me cups of coffee at regular intervals ...
By the time we moved to our current house, he'd given up fighting the antisocial aspect of The Deadline. Instead he built and set up a work station for me in the corner of the lounge/dining room so that we could at least still have each other's company of an evening.
With the advent of e-publishing, I can now not only write what I like, but in a space of time not constrained by mad Deadlines. But the point is that I actually like Deadlines. They help drive me.
And that is the problem. In this post I was really hoping to be writing about my next book, Living the Dream and the story of how it had developed from a short story. But while I'm good at meeting Deadlines, it turns out that I'm only good at meeting those imposed by other people. It looks like Living the Dream will now be out after Christmas rather than before it, as I'd originally planned. When Deadlines are my own self-imposed ones, it turns out that I'm pants at sticking to them ... How do other people cope?
In the meantime, you can always read The Great Rosette Robbery and Haunting Hounds - or visit the website for Living the Dream - and of course, don't miss the great Authors Electric giveaway over Christmas!
No indeed! 14 days to go until Christmas and the Authors Electric sack of goodies!