The Yarnspinners

News of anthologies by Kim Cox, Elizabeth Delisi, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper, Maureen McMahon, and Sheryl Hames Torres--The Yarnspinners!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Deadlines

No one has posted recently...I think we've all been busy writing, reading, editing, teaching, not to mention our "other" jobs, whether they're outside the home, or taking care of family and household. Heck, I have a deadline (tomorrow, and the story is not nearly done) breathing down my neck.

So why am I writing here?

I dunno. Procrastination, I guess. I've reached the point in the story where I don't want to write the next scene. It just makes me uneasy...too personal. And that begs the question, Do writers work out their personal issues in their writing?

I suppose writing can be very therapeutic. But if you write too closely to what you experience in your life, you're inviting lawsuits. ;-) So you skirt the issue, beat around the bush, changes names and places and a few of the salient details. And what comes out ends up being fiction...which, of course, is what you set out to write in the first place. And it all works out in the end, so that solves the emotional issue.

But that still leaves me with the deadline looming over me.

I think what I need to do is change my image of a deadline. Just say it to yourself: deadline. DEADLINE. DEAD...line. "Dead" does not provide a warm and fuzzy feeling, does it? It sort of hints, "You miss this date and you're dead, buster." Not exactly inspirational, especially when you're struggling to write, fast.

There's a similar word from a different area of my life. In knitting, when working on a complex lace pattern, it's easy to make a mistake, and very difficult to rip out a few rows back to the mistake without losing dozens of those tiny, precise stitches. So when knitting a complicated lace pattern, many expert knitters recommend weaving in a "lifeline" every few rows. This is a separate piece of yarn you weave through the stitches of one row, so if you have to rip it back, you know when you reach that point you can easily put the stitches back on the needle from said lifeline. Thus, you're never completely and totally "dead."

I think we writers need to think of "deadlines" as "lifelines" instead. Something to grab onto, something to shore us up, to help us keep writing. Something to help us keep track and not lose any stitches, and come out with that beautiful lace romance or mystery at the end of it all.

So I'm heading back to my writing, after giving one last tug on my "lifeline" to make sure it's secure. See you on the other side!

Liz

2 Comments:

At 7:12 PM, March 29, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

I can procrastinate, too. I'm really very good at it when it comes to cleaning bathrooms, dusting furniture--at least I was about the dusting until I discovered was dust really is and now I clean it up fast.

But for me, a deadline is a promise. And since I take promises seriously, I whine, complain and carry on, but do it anyway.

Chris

 
At 2:12 PM, April 03, 2007, Blogger Elizabeth Delisi said...

I do it anyway, too. But as you said, I whine and complain...and usually drive myself bananas finishing up at the last second. (sigh) That's just me all over!

Liz

 

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