I have a book due tomorrow. Yep. 15,000 words. So what did I do this weekend? I went on retreat. I had had it planned before I had the deadline but that’s not the only reason I went. It was a writing retreat. Yep, a retreat with fellow writers. Writers get deadlines. We were all there to write and we held each other accountable.
The funny thing is that nonwriters often worry about me deadlines more than writers. I remember attending a Boyscout Court of Honor about two weeks before my first book was due. One of the moms marched up to me and started in. “If I was you, I’d be at home working if I had a deadline.”
“What do you write?”
“I’m not a writer but…”
“Do you mean your not published or do you really not write?”
“I don’t write but…”
“Don’t worry. I’ll get it done.”
“I just think…”
“Here, have a cookie.”
Oddly enough, I’ve never had another writer ask me why I’m not holed up. They smile, they nod, they share strange deadline stories.
“I finished that first book working on the laptop while my husband drove the entire family cross country.”
“I had a file corrupt and had to retype the whole book …”
“Once I wrote all night long…”
It may not sound supportive but they’re like war stories. This is what I’ve survived. You’ll get through it too. And I will. I’ve met deadlines working in my father-in-laws basement when we lost power. I stood on top of my son’s fort and conducted an interview when the closest phone tower was out. My husband has had to send files from work that were too large to send before we had WiFi.
I’ll get it done but it sure was a lot more fun to do it on retreat than standing precariously on top of the fort…
For more on writing retreats, see my post today at the Muffin.