Thursday, January 12, 2006
Off and Running
The problem with self-imposed deadlines is that they must also be self-enforced.

And there is the rub.

At least, this is my finding, as I'm stumbling out of the gate in the race to my latest self-imposed deadline. Actually, I've given myself two deadlines, based on two of Glimmer Train's upcoming contests. One is to have a completed and fairly well polished very short piece of fiction by the end of the month. And the other is to have a completed and polished longer piece by the end of March.

The contests themselves are almost irrelevant. They've given me date's to mark on my calendar, is all. I'm not entering with fingers and toes crossed - and I won't be holding my breath as the winners are announced. No, I'm entering, because it's a step in the right direction. I'm easing myself into the process of submitting my work for brutal rejection, or perhaps worse, blatent indifference. (This isn't a knock on myself or my abilities - I'm just preparing myself for what I've been warned the world of submitting writing is like.) you see what I'm doing here? This isn't striving toward my goals. There is no writing or revising happening. Oh, sure, the documents are open, only a click away on my desktop. But, no, instead I'm squandering the fleeting moments of quiet during The Boss's morning nap by slowly sipping strong coffee and typing on a blog.

Since setting the deadlines for myself, I've written three entries here. I've added links. I've typed out 100 (rather incoherant) little bits about myself, in cliche blogger style (and linked to it, of course.) I've checked my email (repeatedly), and searched through the latest online house listings in our area. It seems there are always a million window's open on my desktop during these morning naps, and I never click on the one I should.

Must focus. January 31st. 2,000 words. One tight little story. I can do this.

And I'm off...



Blogger Skye said...

Yes, you CAN do it. Good luck! :)

Blogger Neo said...

Mella -Ha, you make me laugh somtimes you know that?

You're one of the best writers I've ever read! Then again, I guess the great one's never fully appreciate what they bring until after you get a nod.

I know you're going to kick ass!

Good luck friend


- Neo

Blogger windowtomymind said...

You have an excellent attitute for writing. Keep on producing and submitting. You will be accepted.

Blogger LJ said...

You must have read Anne LaMott's description of the writing process? Which includes discovering you have a fatal illness...which is why you have to do something, anything else now?
You'll do it. I know you will.

Blogger Fran Friel said...

I second lj's recommendation. Anne Lamott's, Bird by Bird, is full of wisdom and wit to help the writing life from the inside out.

I've recently enlisted a fellow writer friend to be my "writing buddy." We share our weekly goals and report daily on our progress. It helps with the self-imposed deadlines to have someone else to be accountable to, at least until you find the rhythm of self-satisfaction in completing your goals.

Wishing you well!

Yada Feast

Blogger TravelingMermaid said...


Blogger ~Deb said...

Good luck Mella! Don't focus "too hard"---that's when all writer's get stuck. You can do it! Positive vibes are being thrown your way!!!

Blogger Weird said...

That is the way of it in all things I think. Here I am commenting to you when I should be getting ready to leave for a client's site!


Blogger Mella said...

Thanks everyone for your encouragement & great suggestions. I shall have to try to find a the meantime, it's back to the word document. I'll hopefully be able to post my story by the 31st...

Blogger LKD said...

Gosh, I'm glad you stopped by my blog, Mella. I'm gladder that I stopped by yours. This post, in particular, speaks loud and clear to me. I've always been lousy about deadlines in all aspects of my life and have generally put off anything and everything, from writing a paper to renewing my driver's license to the absolute last moment (I used to write papers in the hours before they were due). The result is that I feel as though I've put off my whole life. Reading what you've written here about deadlines and writing and just doing it really hit home. Thanks for this.

I love your writing.

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