Archives for posts with tag: writer deadlines

Write despite life.

Despite the challenges.
Despite the changes.
Despite the problems.

Create amidst life.

Despite the schedule.
Despite the work.
Despite the day-to-day must-dos.

Act and press through to the end.

Despite the pull on your time.
Despite the emotions that push against the day.
Despite the challenges of the idea that drives you.

And dancers. Photographers. Artists of all kinds.
Do, despite all the things that pull you away.

Even if it’s a small amount of time. 

PS. This is my season of “write despite”:

(he inspires me, too)

Will Monday’s dreams
be Friday’s reality?

(When TGIF rolls around, will the grand plans to get things done be
grand accomplishments
or regrets?)

Plan it.
Work it.
Stay with it.
If need be, flex with it
(and come back to a new “it” that works).

Plans are good.
(Writers, word count plans are even better.)

My calendar’s out right now.


I don’t know about you,
but I thought summer was supposed to be easier.
As in sips of lemonade and lounging in the sun.

Beach days and sleeping in.


All of a sudden, the pressure’s on. Why?

I have a love-hate relationship with deadlines.

I hate deadlines. Because it’s as if a tiny little man with a tiny little pickaxe is chip-chip-chipping away at something in my head, morning to night (and sometimes showing up at 3 or 4 AM). As he chips, the story (or nonfiction work) unfolds. Sometimes in pieces. Most of the time in stops and starts. And often when it’s inconvenient to get out the computer (or notebook), to capture that thought.

(Authors, you’ll get this.)
I live inside the story that the little man sculpts. And on the outside, real life whirls and whizzes with its own noise and intensity, like papers caught in stormy gusts.

(The little man and the wind compete for my attention. All. The. Time. Which can be really. really. irritating. Like having a gaggle of people talk to you at once. I don’t need that. I have lots of kids who’ve been doing that to me for years. oy. Got kids? You know what I mean, then.)


But then, I love deadlines. (Bust out the smile, here.) Because deadlines thrust me forward … which means that stuff is actually getting done and coming to fruition. As in end result. Accomplished. Completed. And that feels glorious. Ideas have downloaded out of my head, cascading over the falls and into the pool of finished. And I look at the result and feel relief.

(Little man has, for a moment, stopped. He’s actually sitting on a rock, polishing his little pickaxe with a smile on his face.)


Problem is, when the little man does his work
and too many outside pieces whirl in the wind around my head,
Big Bad Overwhelm threatens to jump in the picture and taser me into something frozen.
(Please don’t sing Let it Go, here. Thanks.)

Overwhelm = the worst response to deadlines.
Because overwhelm stops me cold.
Staring at the page. Or at the calendar. Or at the wall.
Not sure which pressing problem to turn to, first
(which only increases deadline pressure).

Anyone else feel this?
I thought so.

So when the pressure’s on, it’s time to
step back,
take a breath,
organize the rampage of thoughts into little lines
(“take a number”),
listen to each one’s plea,
and DO.
(Just start on one thing.)


Do you have a deadline looking at you, right now?
Something happening soon that needs attention?
Something that you need to take care of?
Something you’ve been putting off?

Time to stop blogging and start doing.
(Time to stop reading and start doing.)

(See you later.)

* Thup

Most will not argue:
Clutter diminishes productivity.

With clutter, you can’t find it.
With clutter, you waste time.
With clutter, you’re distracted.
With clutter, you lose things.
With clutter, you’re embarrassed
when someone has to wait for you as you rifle through the mess.
With clutter, you lose focus.
With clutter, you get behind.

Maybe two minutes of rearranging is what’s needed,
before you begin today.


* Thup

That’s what the title line says, on an empty blog: title (optional).

In other words, whatever you call the blog, or even if you skip the title, it really doesn’t matter. It’s the content that counts.

Some of us sit and wait until we have the right title to begin. The name has to be special. The parameters have to be just right. The project needs a overview. And in the process of naming the work, the body of the work is left blank.

Don’t get me wrong. Especially in marketing (as in sending an email or naming a blog post), you want to have a title that grabs attention and draws people in. But we often get it all backwards. We think we have to have the perfect title first. But titles are like a research project’s abstract. They come last, if at all.

The title is optional. It’s the body of the work that counts.
(let’s get to work.)


(Warning: Poetic Rumblings Ahead)

Can you force creativity?

Can you make it take a breath
and rise to run a 5K?

In other words,
can you make your mind create —
no matter what’s going on around you?

Up against struggle of physical or emotional
stress and strain,
stretching the limits with strife
surrounding the stains of life.
(poetic but painful) —

What do you do?

When the emotional squeezes last drips of energy
into entropy.

What do you do with creativity that is underneath layers
and layers
and layers
of everyday turned into every way
of confusion?

It happens to all of us.
(to some more than others)

The mind and life-work and everyday gets full
and pushes out the creative.

So instead of praying for a clear path,
can we clear the path?

Perhaps by clearing the mind,
centering on Most Important,
being the Person Meant to Be
(within the inner stillness),
the outer can be stilled, making an oasis
for creativity.

In that way, compliance to creativity isn’t forced.
It’s welcomed home.

* Thup

writing. all day.
(sunk into the corner seat)

some days, you just hafta
sink in and
hunker down.

“The phrase ‘hunker down’ seems originally to have been Scottish,
maybe the eighteenth century?”
(I’m Irish…does that count?)

“Old Norse ‘huka’ means to squat.
Modern Dutch ‘huiken’ and German ‘hocken,’
meaning to squat or crouch.”
(oh great. that sounds…embarrassing)

“The word is popular in American English,
in phrases like ‘hunker down’ or ‘on your hunkers.'”
(yep. said that.)

“The Oxford English Dictionary description of how to hunker:
‘squat, with the haunches, knees, and ankles acutely bent,
so as to bring the hams near the heels,
and throw the whole weight upon the fore part of the feet.'”
(um. well. people would look at me reaaaaalllly funny,
if I did that in this-here coffee shop, wouldn’t they?)

“The advantage of this position is that
you’re not only crouched close to the ground,
so presenting a small target
for whatever the universe chooses to throw at you,
but you’re also ready to move at a moment’s notice.”

“Hunker down has also taken on the sense of
to hide, hide out, or take shelter,
whatever position you choose to do it in.”

Been hunkering.
(hiding out, writing)

Hunker away.
(in whatever position you choose to do it in)


(Quotes from

(can’t talk)
(it’s been one of those days, running morning to night,
thick with the schedule of life)
(had to work the job, to get the money to live)
(if you know what I mean)
(so…here I am, writing at midnight)
(been there?)
(can you say COFFEE? 0-0)

Writers write.

* thup-pp-per-oo
(yup. getting punchy)

I can’t do the splits.
My kids can.
(really well…especially with a coach)

Splits can be REALLY AMAZING.
I’m talkin’ Jean Claude Van Damme, Volvo Style.


Some days are split days.
(we need to learn to do the splits)

I’m not talking about physically.
I’m talking with time.

I have to remind myself:
Splitting things up can be good.
(it’s not all marathon moments)

I tend to think that I need a HUGE chunk of time
to write.
(I don’t)

I tend to think that I need to write
JUST in the morning or
JUST in the afternoon or
JUST in the evening.
(I don’t)

Today, splits.
There’s something really cool to go do,
(helping to be ready for a really cool thingamabob)
smack dab in the middle of the day.
Deadlines loom, but I won’t panic.

Today, splits.
‘Tis the season to focus on family,
at times that may not be convenient for writing.
Deadlines scream, but I won’t panic.

(live in the moment)
Do the splits.

Writing AM.
(do stuff)
Writing PM.

In-between, I’ll try not to stress.
(Writers under deadline get this.
And I suspect that splits can be applied many ways.
Just sayin’.)

* Thup

New word of the day:

Double is kind of like super sizing.
(Without the extra calories.)
Two. Of everything.

Yes, right now, I have two coffees with me.
(So I don’t run out tonight. I hate running out of coffee.)

Yes, I have two coats on.
(So, this evening, I’m not cold. I hate being cold.)

Yes, I brought two dinners with me to this kid event
where I have to wait for hours until they’re finished.
Count them. Two. A salad and a raw veggie bowl.
(So I don’t get hungry later. I hate getting hungry later.)

Double means being prepared.
(I like being prepared. Scouts honor.)

If I want to write an hour before the day is out,
maybe it should be two.
(So I don’t miss my upcoming deadline. I hate missing deadlines.)

Doubly prepared.
(Yes, I used an adverb.)


* Thup
* Thup


%d bloggers like this: