Friday, April 17, 2015

The Truth About Deadlines

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. For more about Shan, check out her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

I finished my edits you guys! And while edits are my favorite part, and I am certain they made my story better, I. AM. EXHAUSTED. I look like this.



I have very few words left in my head, but as it is my day to blog, I'm happy to share them with you. Here goes:


Deadlines are good.

Deadlines suck.

Deadlines make you better.

Deadlines make you crazy.

The week before your book is due, you won't be able to escape it. Not on a boat, not in a tree, not in your bed. 
STORY, LET ME BE.

Your family will not get your deadline persona. They won't understand your wild eyes. Or why you're talking to yourself at dinner. Or why you can't just "stop for a sec to watch this Minecraft video."

The dishes will not get done.

Someone else will feed the dog. 

Showering is overrated (change your jammies every now and then, no one will know).

Coffee and keyboards should remain separate entities. 

No you don't need that comma. Or that one. Em dashes are super rad. But cool it on the ellipses.

Your story will change.

Those changes will force other changes and that will make you cry.

Stop crying. You'll figure it out. You always do.

You should give yourself deadlines.

You should invest in eye drops.

There should be a deadline support group. Nevermind. Who has time for that?

Moments of brilliance will be followed by heaps of self-doubt. Keep going. Brilliance comes round again.

You'll take pics of your eye drops and your coffee and your growing TBR pile.

You'll do everything except write.

You'll write.

You'll think, "This is THE BEST story I've ever written!"

You'll think, "Who would ever want to read this?"

You'll get THE GREATEST idea. But not for the book you're working on. No, this idea will be for THE NEXT book. The one that's sure to be a bestseller.

You'll give up.

Smack yourself and start again.

BECAUSE YOU ARE A WRITER. A storyteller extraordinaire. Your task is a noble one. An enviable one. So, let the dragons circle, let the castle burn, let the earth shake and the zombies rise, but WRITE ON, my friend!

Because you are a writer.

Oh wait. I said that.

See. Told you. I'm running out of words.

Annnnd now I'm . . . yup.

I'm out entirely.

36 comments:

  1. Congrats on finishing your edits!! I'm ten pages away from finishing my first edit-through of Illusion and I'll be done two weeks before my self-set deadline! I'm skipping around and jumping for joy (until I start my second round of editing...).

    Again, congrats!

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU! And bravo on setting your own deadline!

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  2. Is your hair naturally curly, or just messy?

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    Replies
    1. Both! And always. I straighten it for fancy stuff like author photos because it's too unpredictable when it's curly.

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  3. Congratulations on finishing! I've done some small edits but not a massive one like I will be doing at the end of my WIP. I'm looking forward to it but at the same time a bit afraid. :)

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  4. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! That's exactly what I'm going through right now! I set a publication date for my first book, and my to-do list is a mile long, and yes, not everyone in my family completely understands how busy I am. But it's worth it. Eventually. Once I stop banging my head against this desk...

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    Replies
    1. Get a pillow. Head banging is normal. Bleeding is not.

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  5. This made me smile:). Congratulations on your book, Mrs. Dittemore! Hopefully I'll start my edits by the end of the year or perhaps the beginning of next year. This post was so true!

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  6. Congratulations on finishing your editing!

    I have a question. I know that when you finish writing your book, you're suppose to take a break before heading straight into your editing process. How long is the break suppose to last?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Mrs. Morrill (she got it from Stephen King, I believe) recommends six weeks. That length of time really helps you "forget" what happened in your book, so that you can look at it with fresh eyes. Hope that helps!

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    2. Totally depends. If you try six weeks and that works for you, good. Go for it. If it's too long, you'll know next time. Longer than that and you run the risk of losing any sort of passion for the story. Trial and error is the only way to know for sure.

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    3. Thank you both of you. :3 Because I was soon (a few months soon) going to finish my book, but I wasn't sure how long the break was suppose to last.

      Thanks again!

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  7. Echoing Jonathan, this made me smile. Sorry. :) But as a friend's mom once said (about mailboxes, not deadlines, but that's a long story): "With things like this, you can either laugh about it or cry about it. I'm gonna pick laughing."

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  8. I laughed reading this. Thank you! I hope to get to this stage soon. Or do I?

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    1. YES! You do. It's worth it. I promise. There's so much joy in and amongst the crazy.

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  9. Love it! And disconnect your internet too - I could get so much more done if I wasn't always feeding my Pinterest addiction. (Like pinning this article). God bless. :)

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  10. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

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  11. Hahaha! I love this! I haven't gotten to that stage yet. I'm working on the rough draft/my-rough-draft-just-totally-fizzled-out-and-there's-so-much-that's-inconsistent-so-I-have-to-go-and-re-work-backgrounds/histories/character-arcs phase. ... Yeah.

    And, I love that photo of you! :P I hope that you meet your deadline, Mrs. Dittemore! And, don't let the magic smoke out of your keyboard! It won't like that!

    Have a lovely evening!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Keep writing, friend. You'll make it!

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  12. That was beautiful to read, a true glimpse into the writer's heart and mind. And congrats!! I'm editing my own novel, although luckily (or not???) I don't have a deadline. That's what NaNoWriMo is for... unless I decide to push the edit through before Camp NaNoWriMo... that could be good. Haha, we'll have to see what happens. But yet again- congrats!! Now enjoy non-pressured writing- if it exists!!

    ~Kathryn

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    1. I certainly will, Kathryn! Thank you and happy writing!

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  13. Oh, Shan, this made me laugh so hard! So proud of you, friend :)

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  14. I loved this, Mrs. Dittemore! Was smiling through the whole post. :) Congratulations on finishing edits!!

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  15. Haha:) This was a hilarious post, Shannon! Had me cracking up. You did a lovely job of getting your point across: you were very tired when you wrote it:)

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  16. LOL, this post was brilliant! Loved it!
    Also, INKDEATH. AND CATCHING FIRE! THOSE BOOKS ARE THE BEST!


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com

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  17. Tragically true; tragically, tragically true. Deadlines are the bane of my existence, and yet you need them more than you know...

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