Squashing deadlines, one day at a time

Was last week’s launch party a blast or what? I love everything about SOPHIE’S SQUASH, and the Emu’s Debuts book birthday blog bash was no exception. The party’s over, but I still have the honor of announcing of the giveaway winner! So, without further ado, the winner of the signed copy of SOPHIE’S SQUASH and the swag to go with it is…

Erik at thiskidreviewsbooks!

Congratulations, Erik!

Before we broke for the party, we’d had a few posts about dealing with things like deadlines, interruptions and distractions, the guilt about writing instead of spending time with family, and the guilt about spending time with family instead of writing. (We just can’t win, can we?) This summer, I’ve had it all… at the same time. And as my August 1st deadline for delivering the first draft of CHANGEMAKER loomed ever nearer, I started to panic. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it, and even if I somehow did, I’d have to turn in a REAL first draft (and you know what means, right? P.U.!).

Hemingway quote

One of my favorite coffee mugs.

I didn’t feel good about either option, so I broke down and emailed my editor to see if there was any wiggle room there. In the kindest, gentlest way possible (seriously, no sarcasm there—editors are some of the nicest people on the planet!), she explained that there wasn’t, but she also outlined exactly what needed to be in that draft… and what didn’t. It turned out the things I was most stressed about—sidebars, back matter, etc.—weren’t important in this round. Thank goodness I’d asked! I got back to work with a slightly different focus and a much healthier attitude. And I did it!

So, I’m now in this weird place of having met my deadline and turned in my manuscript, but still having a bunch of work to do. Imagine the conversations with friends… Them: “You turned in your book! How does it feel?” Me: “It feels great!” Them: “What are you working on now?” Me: “Oh, the same thing. I still need to finish it.” Them: *blink, blink*

Besides recovering from the last sprint and making my friends wonder about my mental state, I’m still feeling anxious about finishing all of those missing pieces at the same time I’m worrying about how hard the revision rounds might be. I have no idea if that first hurdle was the biggest one in this particular race or if there are even tougher challenges ahead. But I do know that I have loved researching and writing this manuscript. If they cancelled the book today, I’d be forever thankful just to have had the experience (please don’t cancel it! please don’t cancel it!), but (assuming all goes as planned) my own Emu’s Debuts book birthday blog bash is still more than a year away. Until then, I’ll just keep trying to do whatever needs to be done to make this the best possible book it can be.


Filed under Anxiety, Editor, Panic, Publishers and Editors

12 responses to “Squashing deadlines, one day at a time

  1. Congrats Erik! Can’t wait to read your review of Sophie’s Squash!


  2. Yes, congrats to Erik. And um, congrats on making your deadline, even though there’s still work to be done.


  3. So glad you finished! I totally know that feeling though, the anxious tug at your gut becaue you know you’ve finished a manuscript, but it isn’t quite the story you want to tell. Not yet. Good luck!


    • Thanks, Amy! In this case, it’s straight nonfiction, so the tug is more about if I did enough research and whether or not I’m explaining things correctly. I’d hate to get something wrong or steer readers in the wrong direction!


  4. Congrats on turning in your book on time! The sidebars and backmatter will come. In fact, I’m sure you’re plowing through them as you wait for comments on the main text. First drafts may be #*&^ (believe me, I know), but they’re a huge milestone. Kudos, Laurie!


  5. Congratulations, Laurie, on making your deadline! That’s great! I love the title of your post because it sums it up so well. It’s all done in stages, and we just have to chip, chip, chip away at each project.

    I’m a firm believer in celebrating each milestone! Here’s to meeting your deadline. *clink* 🙂


    • Thanks, Dawn! Yes, no matter what the milestone, there’s another one up ahead, right? That’s actually one of the things I’m enjoying most about this process, though. There’s always more to learn and something new to look forward to. But celebrating is awesome, too! *clink* 🙂


  6. Congrats on making your deadline, Laurie! And good luck as you move forward!

    Congrats on winning Sophie’s Squash, Erik! You’ll love it :•)


  7. Pingback: What a year! » Laurie Ann ThompsonLaurie Ann Thompson

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