with Karen M Davis
Writing to a deadline can be very scary indeed. Some people thrive on pressure but I'm not one of them. I don't like pressure at all and if I get behind in my writing schedule I worry... about everything. I can become overwhelmed with the task ahead of me and that's not a good thing - for me, or anyone.
So to avoid pressure I try to be organised; to allow myself plenty of time for the unexpected so hopefully there's no need for panic as the deadline draws closer. Of course this is easier said than done. Life has a habit of getting in the way. We have to deal with kids, family, housework, work and social commitments, sickness, computer meltdowns, and the list goes on.
I remember Belinda Alexandra, a very successful author, once said to me that there is a huge difference between just "playing around "with your book and hoping it gets published, to actually being published, and then wearing the expectation to produce another work of art as good, or hopefully better, than the last - and all in a set time frame.
I could relate to her words as I'd just signed a two-book deal with Simon and Schuster. Sinister Intent, my first novel, had taken me over four years of "playing around" to write, and the only pressure to complete it was of my own doing. Now I was contracted and my second novel, Deadly Obsession, was due in nine months. The pressure was on and I felt it... I wrote day and night constantly feeling guilty that I was neglecting my family, while worrying I wouldn't finish on time and that it wouldn't be good enough.
As it turned out I had to ask for a month extension, which was no problem for them, and then it was done... Big sigh of relief.
So what did I learn from that experience? Well I suppose I learned to just keep writing. Finish one story and start the next so I have a head start.
I am currently writing my third crime fiction novel and my deadline is June. Since this is the third in the series of "Lexie Rogers books" many of the characters are the same, therefore I'm having to constantly read over my first two books, checking details to ensure continuity. This is time consuming so I'm trying to allot a minimum of so many hours "writing time" a day. Some days it might be one hour, others four, depending on other commitments. I don't count words as many writers do because I'm not always writing, sometimes I'm researching, revising, editing. School holidays has hindered my schedule. As much as I love my family I find it hard to concentrate with a house full of teenagers and a husband off work, so February is going to be busy. I want to be well and truly in front of my deadline to avoid last minute panic.
Do you work well under pressure, or are you more like me and need plenty of time to get it just right?I love to love chocolate
I love to learn new things
I love to laugh at anything