I am now in the midst of my third round of queries. Looking for the one agent who wants to represent little ole me and my manuscript. It’s hard to put yourself out there in queryland with your work, your heart, and soul on paper, and have it rejected. However, according to a heck of lot of good writers, it’s no big deal. “All it takes is just one agent.” I will be patient and wait for him or her to break the cycle. (And a little prayer now and then couldn’t hurt.)
In the meantime, I’m writing and writing and writing. Working on Book 2, emailing a new query letter out to another agent every time a rejection dribbles in, and working on a short story. I’m planning to enter the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop submissions again this year and at least two other contests. All this puts me under the gun—my very own handmade, crafted from self-doubt and old insecurities, but very pretty gun. I create deadlines.
So DEADLINES or Dead Lines. We’ve all stood in the “dead” line waiting at the DMV or something to that effect. And we’ve all seen “dead” lines of dialogue. Dialogue that just lies there, doesn’t breathe, never goes anywhere. Some authors write brilliant dialogue that’s so alive it jumps off the page. I certainly aim for that target.
Now back to other deadlines, zero hours, countdowns, moments of truth, or time frames. What are they good for? Increasing stress levels? Time management? Binge eating? (I digress).
It’s funny how I always work well with deadlines. For some reason, it’s good for me to have a time limit. I need that invisible person holding the stopwatch or the checkered flag at the end of the race. Do deadlines stress you out?
According to the dictionary, the definitions for the word DEADLINE are as follows:
- The latest time by which something should be completed.
- A line drawn around a prison. If prison guards catch prisoners crossing the line, the prisoners will be shot.
- A deadline is a line not to be crossed.
Being able to set my own deadlines right now is one of the nice things about being a writer. The lines not to be crossed are squiggly and sometimes as flexible as a rubber band. On the other hand, if I am lucky enough to find an agent, and subsequently a publisher, I’m sure I will no longer have that luxury. Hey, I think I’d like that kind of deadline even more.