An interesting thing happened along my journey to publishing SIGNS OF ATTRACTION: I burnt myself out. More specifically: I chased deadlines for six months straight. Most self-imposed while waiting for my actual deadlines to come in. I could call this writer burnout or first book burnout. Instead, this is deadline burnout.
I’m the type of person who likes to arrive early, and that’s how I handled my deadlines. I’m also the type of person who prefers to finish one project before jumping to the next. This is the crux of my mistake.
A querying writer is in control of his or her timing and destiny. Deadlines are self-imposed and can be broken with limited consequences. This was what I was used to. So when my editor told me I’d have edits coming “soon” and I was in the middle of drafting a new shiny, I panicked. I rushed forward, pushing out the draft so that I’d be ready in time.
Then I sat there, twiddled my thumbs, and…picked up something else to work on while I waited. Something else that I felt the need to rush through so I wouldn’t have to put it down unfinished.
Let me spoil a secret: there will be interruptions, there will be the need to step aside from something in the middle of drafting or editing, this is life in writer land. This is what I hadn’t learned six months ago.
This is what I paid for.
Add in my personal life, assisting with contests, and having lovely CP novels to read, and I’m still not sure where my head’s at. I hit a wall at one point and did absolutely nothing for my own writing. I read a few books, worked on my CP stuff, and read a few more books.
Then, my new shiny started whispering to me. New characters requesting I tell their story. I know this shiny will be picked up and put down many times throughout its creation. But I also know there is nothing better than being in the middle of creating a story.
Burnout or not, I’m a writer. I’ve learned my lesson and I’ll do things differently next time. Namely, the only deadline I’ll adhere to are the ones that aren’t mine. Mine are made to be broken.