Deadlines are part of every writer’s life. Some are self-imposed (‘I will finish the chapter by the end of the week!’ or even ‘I’m going to write a 50,000 word novel in November!’), some are set by external events (‘I have to finish this before Christmas…’), but once you get that elusive publication deal they are set by important agents and editors (Can you get it to me by the end of April, please?’ ‘Oh yes, that’s months away!’). Everyone misses deadlines sometimes, with procrastination and good excuses vying for culpability. Douglas Adams liked “the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” - something I think most of us can relate to, me possibly more than most. You know a deadline is approaching, you can see it coming for months, and yet suddenly, oops! It’s gone, and you’re left wondering where all the time went.
Sometimes, they just creep up on you, and you’re not really sure what happened until afterwards (this may be the most appropriate example for me most of the time… Sorry about that, chaps!). Other times you spend so much time worrying and preparing for them that you’re exhausted even before they happen.
So, how do you cope with deadlines? And what do you do when you miss them?
I try to carry on as normal, hoping that no-one noticed.