Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

4/24/10

Missed my deadline!

I'm thankful that my fellow potato bloggers are lenient about our individual deadlines. Mine was yesterday, but as I was driving 8 hours back home from North Carolina, I realized I wouldn't make this one.

Deadlines are good things, though. They help discipline me in my hectic life as author, SCBWI regional advisor, teacher, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, etc. Like David, I try to be scrupulous about keeping my deadlines and feel guilty when I don't. Deadlines give me a feeling of accomplishment when I'm successful and are a strict taskmaster when I'm procrastinating. They force me into putting words on paper when I'm struggling through a writer's block, and they give me an excuse to say "no"--something I don't do easily.

Sometimes I wonder how I managed to keep the deadlines every three weeks throughout my MFA program at Spalding University when I was also working full-time as director of admissions in a busy community college. When my editor said, "take as long as you need" to work on my revision, I asked her to give me a deadline. I needed a specific date to work toward. And now that I don't have another full-time "day" job, other than my writing, I find it harder to set aside writing time than I did when I was too busy.

In my search for deadlines, I'm going back to school for an enrichment semester at Spalding University to study film adaptation. I'm excited to be a student again and to enter this new field as a writer. I'm also excited to have deadlines and excuses to say, "no." Yes, I'll be busier than ever, but I'll also accomplish more.

8 comments:

Stephanie said...

How fun that you're going back for another semester. I will think about that if I ever get the MFA loans paid off...

Edie said...

Stephanie,
Your books would make great screenplays. You should definitely think about that sometime in the future.

David LaRochelle said...

Edie -

You are so right about accomplishing more when you are busy. The saying "If you want something done, give it to a busy person," has a great deal of truth in it. And like you, I prefer it when my editors give me a deadline rather than when they say, "Get it to me when you have the time."

john said...

Edie, congratulations on your school decision and the new deadlines that will come with it. Keep us posted on how it's going.

Mark said...

Edie, I agree that "external" deadlines are so much easier to follow that "do it when you can." And good luck with your return to classes!

Lauren said...

How exciting to return to school. I just came back from visiting colleges with my daughter and I yearned to be back in the classroom myself. I also understand asking your editor for a deadline-- dates on a calendar help tremendously!

Edie said...

I could very easily become a perennial student. Thank you all for your comments!

Christy said...

Delighted for you. I can easily see you writing screenplays. Start picking out your Oscar acceptance outfit.