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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"The Race"

writer ideaI’m participating in a race.

A race against time. More specifically a deadline for my second MTV title, INVISIBLE TOUCH. :)

Deadlines are something we as writers are not always comfortable with.

I was reading Marjorie Liu’s blog the other day--she’s currently gone under for her deadline--and only comes up for air for a few minutes to post this:

Hair = Gross.
Food = Down to applesauce, frozen spinach, and ice cream, followed by gnawing on my own leg.
Cats = Frightened of hair, and making peculiar noises in the kitchen.
Poodle = Hanging in there.
Haha! Oh, and she also mentions what Meg Cabot is writing on her blog:
I don’t know about other writers, but when I’m towards the end of writing a book, I am completely unfit for human companionship. Like, I pretty much stop bathing and I can’t speak in complex sentences anymore.

For the welfare of others, I try to avoid human contact when I am at this stage of one of my books.

And other humans know to avoid me, as well. It really is safer that way.

I get it. I get what they are going through. The race against time to finish the book and get it into the hands of the editor so we can all be happy and meet the schedule.

The thing is, I wish I could become a hermit and stay in my jammies all day, but my family might abandon ship! :) Instead I’ve bought stock in French Vanilla Café, and my mind is muddled as I drive here and there, you know, from the late-to-bed-early-to-rise schedule. And suddenly I'll remember something that needs to be done that day, and I rush around like a craaazzzaay woman, trying to get it done all the while the book is lurking around in my brain.

So tell me, Authors…what’s your life like as that deadline looms over you and you're speeding toward the finish line?


jennifer echols said...

LOL! Great post! I just blogged about this here. But now I've been finished for a couple of weeks. I've relaxed, read, watched movies, paid the overdue bills, cleaned my office (!!!), gotten my hair cut, and done all the laundry, and I've actually cooked a meal for the last two weeks straight. Time to start a new novel!

You can do it Kelly! Come into the light!

jenny o'connell said...

Two words: total bitch. Everything annoys me when I'm near my deadline, the phone ringing, the printer going too slow, the sound of the furnace in the basement clicking on - everything. I think about the book I'm writing every second of the day, even dream about it. It's miserable. I'm miserable. Then the book is done and I'm the happiest person going. Just got back my editor's comments for LOCAL GIRLS and can think clearly about the book again. Even get excited by it. And the first thing I do when I type "the end" (ok, I never really type 'the end') is clean my house. Clean house, clear mind.

TinaFerraro said...

Kelly, "guilt" is what I'm feeling as I am nearing a deadline. Guilt that I'm not giving the book my best, guilt that I'm neglecting myself, my family and friends (and forgetting something important), and guilt that THIS TIME I won't make my deadline...

And then it's over, and I feel tremendous relief, but a little empty, too, like I actually MISS that Guilt Monster who'd been nagging me. :)

Kelly Parra said...

Thanks, Jennifer! I can't wait until it's finished!
Oh good, Jen! I thought I was the only one to get bitchy. haha!

Alex McAulay said...

I always listen to music when I write, so by the end of a book, my desk is covered with mountains of CDs. I should just put everything into my ipod, but i'm lazy! But when a book is done, I kind of miss it... and then I start obsessing about finding an idea for the next one....

Kelly Parra said...

Tina, yeah, that guilt I know on many levels!! Thanks for sharing!
Alex, the cluttered desk, I know well too!

Jessica Burkhart said...

Yes, Tina! Guilty over here, too! I constantly worry that I'm writing crap and that I'll make the deadline, but it won't be my best. But after I get that first set of edits back and I realize I did just fine...it starts to feel better. :)

Jill James said...

My family has learned to step back slowly from me when I'm nearing the end of a book and must finish it by such and such a time and date. They are well-trained. LOL

Kelly Parra said...

Jessica, the writing crap worry, I know that feeling! LOL!
Jill, I'm glad the fam knows the routine!

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Yeah, I'm in that stage right now. The other day, I reached up and felt my hair and honestly, couldn't remember when I last washed it. I've been bathing, thank goodness, but it's been of the "get wet/wake up" variety.

The animals don't let me get away with forgetting them—the Lab in particular is very fond of her food.

And I'm like Alex with the music, except I do load everything into my iTunes. Then if I'm procrastination mode, I make playlists.

Back to deadline. :-)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Good luck with your deadline, Kelly! I can’t wait to read the book! When I’m nearing deadline, I’m usually in “unfit for human companionship” mode. I’ll live in the same pair of jeans. I’m usually completely hoarse because the last phase is always reading the book aloud to myself. I do take time out to cook though. If I don’t, I won’t eat. I prep for my deadlines by scouring vegweb for all the 10 minute vegan recipes. My friends don’t see me or hear from me (except for my CPs) and my boyfriend probably wishes that he doesn’t because all I do is talk book. I’ve gotta to say I enjoy it all in a sick way though (well, except for the missing my friends part). I like immersing myself completely in story mode and I’m glad to be away from my dayjob!