Deadlines are something usually associated with the workplace, school or universities. Who hasn’t sweated to complete an assignment or task on a specific day? Those days were over, I thought, when I began writing to suit myself, when I could apply my own rules to the short stories, or novels I wished to produce. This worked, for a while, but when I was no longer in the paid workplace, or engaged in study, I found that the earlier discipline I’d applied to both my art and writing, was lacking.
My husband, an academic, often asked me about the deadlines I’d set for the story I was writing about my dad. And well may he wonder, as he has been all too well aware of just how long this project was taking. His well-intentioned comments niggled at me for I knew that I was long past the most recent loose time-frame I had set myself. Dare I say, it was November last year? My tardiness in completing this story, is due to my leaping into other writing and art projects I am also interested in.
After this prod at my conscience I conceded that it was time to take action. I needed an impetus and soon thought of one which was sure to get me going. I had long decided to self-publish this work, and knew that if this was ever to eventuate, the manuscript would need close-reading and editing, by a professional as well as myself. ‘(Just shut up and) Do It” I told myself, borrowing from the title of a self-help book I’d read a few years back.
I emailed a friend, who is both a librarian and manuscript editor, and asked if she would like this particular job. She agreed to looking at my MS, and we planned to meet to discuss details, a few weeks on. OMG, did that give me the energy I needed to crack the whip. From that day I have written as much as I can daily, so that when Suzanne asks for the manuscript, I shall be somewhere near the completed draft. Help, we are meeting at the end of the week.
I have also written a list of whom I should contact at the publishing house, the questions I need to ask, and the timeframe I should expect to have my book ready for the public. There are photographs to collate to add to this mix, a cover to design as well. It has become clear that I need to make this work my priority. I owe it to my family (as well as myself), who encouraged me to write about a grandfather they never got to meet.
Below are the opening lines of his story.
There is also a painting in its infancy sitting on my easel beside me as I write. I think it’s time I set a deadline to complete the painting, don’t you?
Good luck with setting your own.