Deadlines for masochists

Crossposted from Silk And Shadows
Currently working on: Chapter 4 of Book 2
– Wherein our heroine talks way too much
Mood: Blah blah blah

 “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
Douglas Adams

For number redacted years, nobody cared whether I wrote or not.  Heck, sometimes it was hard for me to care.  So to get words on the page (and from thence to gets words to an agent and an editor) I knew I had to set my own deadlines.


Just Do It.  It’s so pithy a catch-phrase you’d think it’d be easy to follow.  In the coming week as we study our topic of deadlines, you’ll get lots of great tips and inspirational stories about setting and meeting deadlines.  And now I’ll tell you WHY you’re going to Just Do It.




Pure.  Simple.  Arrogance.

Arrogance gets a bad rap because the dictionary says it’s the assumption of superiority based upon presumptuous claims.  But what the dictionary doesn’t understand (and this is odd because writers and dictionaries go together like insert cleverness here) is that as a writer, arrogance is your very special friend.

 Because at the beginning, all you have are presumptuous claims.  Maybe just an idea, or a few chapters, or maybe the whole book, or even the whole book that’s racked up a few rejections.  But damn it, they’re YOUR presumptuous claims.  And the world deserves –NEEDS to hear them.  That’s why you’re a writer. 


I’m not talking about braggadocio.  Quiet arrogance works better.  (Refer to last week’s topic on the dark hero.)  A rock-solid core belief that you have something important to say can be the difference between bulling your way through to that NaNoWriMo 50K-in-a-month deadline… and very, very clean toilets.


You may ask yourself, do I have something important to say?  You will have doubts, you will have nay-sayers, and quite possibly you don’t have anything important to say.  Ha!  Did your hackles go up at that last one?  Good girl.  Hold that impression of smoldering, narrow-eyed, taut-spined resolve – that’s the arrogant you.  Time for her to step up and Just Do It.


Put the arrogant you to work.  Put her name and pride and heart on the line.  According to experts in goal-setting, making your deadline public helps you achieve it.  Put your ego where your arrogance is.  So how about this.  Post your deadline in the comments section.  And then give me a line from your most arrogant self why you WILL make this deadline, clean toilets be damned.


Even better, Twitter your deadline and your arrogance.  Follow our Twitters and we’ll follow yours… and I will keep track and mock you if you miss your posted deadline.  And you promise to mock me back if I miss mine.


I think this is the beginning of an arrogant friendship.



One thought on “Deadlines for masochists

  1. …very, very clean toilets!! Snort. You crack me up in print and in person. Sorry, I’m not committing to any deadline you can hold me to. I already promised three chapters and a synopsis by January at the chapter meeting. I have no idea where I’m pulling that out of. If my critique partner knew I was blogging instead of writing, she’d kill me. What is braggadocio, anyway? Oh, never mind. I’ll look it up in my car-sized thesaurus. Can’t wait to read the first book. Guess I’ll have to settle for the blog until then. Ciao!
    your ex-parnter in newsletter crime, Jo


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