I turned in a book on April 15th. It was one of those tight deadlines where you kind of forget everything else just to get the book done. Of course, now that I type that it sounds like every deadline, but you get the idea. Sometimes we have fewer weeks to write a book and have to adjust. This was one of those times.
Now comes the post-deadline ritual. It goes something like this:
1. Look around at the house and be horrified at how junked up it looks. There are piles of mail and books on the kitchen counter. Since this was also tax time, there are tax documents on the dining room table. Over there I see clothes on the floor and hanging over various pieces of furniture. Even though the hubby did a valiant job of cleaning, and without him we’d live in filth, the house still needs some order.
2. Look at the DVR and try to calculate the number of unwatched television hours stored there. This is a tough one. There really are only so many hours in a day and the there are still more shows scheduled to be taped over the next week or so. Something must go…and there’s only 21% space left, so something must go now before the DVR space fills and I miss a show I actually do want to watch (note: the second season fo the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes comes on soon and if I miss it I’ll scream).
3. Look at my email inbox and contemplate just deleting the 987 messages in there and starting over fresh. This one is tempting, but I run the risk of actually missing something important. Even if the calculation is for every 300 spam emails there’s one “must see” one, that means I have to play search-and-rescue to find the 3.5 important ones in there.
4. Look around and see everything else I forgot to do. This list usually overwhelms me because it includes copyedits for a book and process and promo for one that’s about to come out. I;ve decided to ignore this one for now.
5. Look around and see how many friends and family members are about ready to call in the police for a wellness check. I do manage to email during tight deadlines, but I won’t pretend I can keep up. I can’t. Six years into this career most people I love know this and understand, but it’s that one person who doesn’t who will kill you with guilt.
6. Stop looking around and procrastinating and start writing the next book.
If anyone has a better process, please let me know.