We all know what today is, the final day to file our taxes. Either you are getting money back, which means you’ve most likely sent the forms in by now, or you have to pay, which means you wait until the very last day to pay. Could I have come up with a more fitting date than today to talk about deadlines?
You don’t have to be a writer to appreciate deadlines. Having a job will always keep you busy with projects or appointment dates. If you still have children at home, you have a calendar of school, extracurricular or sports activities. Maybe you volunteer at church or with organizations in the community. Any or all of the above teach you to keep looking ahead to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
One of the practical aspects of being a writer is that I have deadlines. It’s part of the writer’s life. If I’ve learned anything since becoming published, it’s to be flexible at different points in creating a book. Thankfully, the thought of finishing a project by a certain date doesn’t make me nervous. I like having the big picture laid out in advance so I know how to budget my time.
When I’m working on a book, there are a few different phases. The first is to come up with the story idea. Once I’ve worked out all the logistics, I begin to work on a synopsis which is sent to my editor. If the book or books go under contract, then I have firm due dates for every stage of the book. For instance, the complete manuscript for the book I’m working on right now is due on May 1. The last month is always the busiest because I finish writing the draft and then I edit, read, edit, and reread until it is in good shape to send in. You’d think that would be the end, but no. Once my editor reads the manuscript, I will have to do revisions. Now, there isn’t a deadline date on when my editor will send the manuscript back to me, but if I’ve already started another project, I’ll have to put that project aside while I work on the revisions. And once the book goes into production, I look forward to the release date.
In between the big picture of working on a book are a lot of other deadlines. If I write a blog, like this or another I participate in, I have specific dates to post. I may schedule an interview or book tour around the release date of a new book. Let me just say, I keep a weekly planner by my computer so I’m always up to date. If anything new comes in, it goes right into the planner so I’m prepared.
Life is busy for everyone and having due dates are part of the ride. If you have a particular deadline coming up, I wish you the best. As for me, it’s back to my current work in progress. Just another day in the life of a writer.
Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. Family values, a bit of mystery and of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her next Harlequin Heartwarming romance, Trusting Her Heart , available in August. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TaraRandelBooks. Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter and receive a link to download a free digital book.