D is for DEADLINE

The April Blogging from A to Z Challenge continues!

d

D is for DEADLINE

 If nobody dies when they miss a deadline, what’s the big deal?  Because your editor wants to kill you.

If you’ve made a commitment, set a date, and got someone else on board with your project, you have an obligation to follow through.

This may not have been a big deal when you were writing that 5-paragraph essay for Mrs. Whatshername in 6th grade…especially if it wasn’t an assignment you had any say in.  BUT, you’re playing with the big kids now, and deadlines matter.

DEADLINE = Deliver or Die

I’m amazed at how many writers think a deadline is flexible.  As if the calendar is some kind of temporal gateway, and dates can be sucked back and forth through time to accommodate the writer.  As an editor, I can assure you that missing a deadline throws off the whole series of events that must occur once your manuscript is submitted.  (Sorry, it’s not as perfect as you imagine.)  Editing, proofreading, formatting, proofreading again, citation checks, copyright checks, photo attributions…. there is an endless list of items that need to be acted on after you’ve delivered your piece.  And while you may have stayed up all night to finish that puppy, I can assure you I do not want to be up all night trying to catch up to your missed deadline!

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The fact is, we’re all just dominoes in a long chain.  When one falls, the others follow – usually in a pleasing pattern that ends with a polished piece we can all enjoy.  But if the first domino never falls, the rest of us are just left standing there.

Be the King Domino.  Cause a chain reaction.  Meet your Deadline.

Leave a comment for me, if you please.  Writing is a lonely business.

Also, visit some of the other few thousand bloggers participating in the A to Z challenge by clicking below:

A is for AUTHOR

The April Blogging from A to Z Challenge continues!

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A is for AUTHOR

Being a writer is tough.  Anyone who is self-employed knows how hard it is to make yourself get up every morning and stick to a schedule of   your own design.  When the work is there waiting for you – the broken pipe, the dirty house, the waiting client – you have some kind of accountability, some motivation to move forward.  With writing, you create your own work (and it isn’t always inspiring or even profitable).

My recent gig as Technical Editor over at Flash Fiction Chronicles has helped re-motivate me in the world of fiction and writing in general.  After a lot of years in education and writing curriculum, it’s nice to be around some dreamy folks who support my Doctor Who obsession and don’t ask for evidence that I’ve met the Common Core standards.

The hardest fight in the writer world (for me) is dealing with the bait-and-switch feeling people get when I explain what kind of writer I am.  When people hear you are a writer, they immediately think you are J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or Agatha Christie.  (You’ve never seen a crestfallen face, until you see a book-lover realize you haven’t published a fiction novel.) And if you aren’t on their local Barnes & Noble bookshelf, then you must be only playing at writing.  Few people consider the writer of their child’s lesson plans as a “real” writer.  Enjoy that hilarious Superbowl commercial?  Writer.  Appreciate the succinct explanation of nutritional benefits on your box of CoCo Puffs?  Writer.

Writing is all around us, and in our celebrity-mad culture, we’ve come to equate authors with the job requirements of fame, fortune, and film.  After all, a book that hasn’t been made into a movie isn’t worth reading, right?  Writing is hard, but rewarding – and not for the reasons people think.

The rewards come in seeing others enjoy, learn from, or utilize what you’ve created.  In seeing something come to life on the page.  In knowing that your efforts will live on – even if your name isn’t attached to it.  Writing is like teaching, or raising kids.  You don’t see the benefits for years to come, and sometimes you wonder why you even bother.  But when it’s all said and done, there really isn’t anything else you’d rather do.

Leave a comment for me, if you please.  Writing is a lonely business.

Also, visit some of the other few thousand bloggers participating in the A to Z challenge by clicking below:

Blogging from A to Z Challenge – April 2013

  I am excited (and more than a little scared) to be a participant in this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge!    I first learned of the challenge through an interview with Madeline Mora-Summonte at Flash Fiction Chronicles.  (As one of the editors, I learn about all kinds of writing events, but rarely get to participate!)  It all started in 2010, with about a hundred bloggers getting together to write for 26 days in April (with Sundays off for good behavior).  Each day features a new letter of the alphabet, and each blog continues its own theme – whether it be gardening, writing, crafts, education, or salt shaker collections.  Last year’s participants numbered over 1700 – and I’m contributing to make that number even bigger this year by blogging A to Z through April!

I hope you’ll join me – either by reading and leaving a comment each day, or joining the list yourself and blogging along with me!  Visit HERE to sign up your own blog, or check back on my page April 1st to see what turns up for the letter “A”.