With novel-writing, my only deadline is to polish a few pages for my monthly critique group. I work on my manuscript every day, but sometimes I wish I had a firm deadline so I could measure myself against it. Am I making enough progress? How has today’s work pushed me closer to my goal?
As a journalist, I’m wired to thrive on due-by dates. Take the case of this flopsy bunny, from Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Toys pattern book. I started the project for my 3-year-old way back in November during a beach knitting retreat. As soon as I got home, back into a bag the bunny body went. The bag landed in the corner of the knitting room. (Ahem. I mean the guest room.)
Then Easter sneaked up.
I’ve been staying up late the past few nights knitting and stitching limbs and ears onto the body. I’ve made two trips to craft stores (for embroidery floss and again when my favorite tapestry needle broke in half). But now, thanks to the deadline, it’s done!
And maybe I’ll employ this strategy with my novel. It might get me past a stuck spot, or give me the courage to sit down and write the first draft of a hard scene. Then again, maybe not. I rushed some of my bunny stitching. One of the ears puckers. And truth be told, it still needs its fluffy tail. Oh well. My daughter will love her new friend, and that’s what counts.
Happy Easter! And for the writers out there, do you set deadlines for yourself? Do they work? I’d love to hear your thoughts.