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Timing is Everything

(Crossposted from Jennifer Brozek)

An author / editor’s life is one filled with “hurry up and wait.” It makes scheduling difficult.
 
I had one project I’ve been talking about with the publisher fire up again after months of silence. This time with the promise of a contract. Another project, it’s been over a year and I now have a 90 day deadline. As soon as I see that contract and its terms that is. Also, I am waiting for a third contract that was promised before the holidays. I knew that contract would not be on time. The publishing industry is notoriously slow for contracts around the holiday season.
 
While these three contracts are in the process of dropping, I have a novelette and an RPG supplement to write as well as a non-fiction book and an anthology to edit. Fortunately, a couple of these projects have open-ended due dates. On the bad side of things, the longer ideas go cold, the less excited about the project I become. It’s like pulling teeth to get into the project. Then, when the irons are hot, other contracts drop.
 
It’s no wonder I have a hard time scheduling myself and end up with months of “juggling chainsaws.”

[Note: As I write this post, an offer of an RPG contract landed in my email with too tight of a deadline for me to accept it. Dammit. It was exactly the kind of thing I like.]
 
At this point, I’ve given the Husband permission to taser me if I accept a new contract without talking to him first about it. He is my sanity and impulse block. This, of course, does not include contracts that have been up in the air for months. Mostly because I really want to write the second YA novel.
 
Then again, publishers keep putting shiny projects and money in front of me. With tight deadlines. It makes me sit back and think about what I really want to do with my career. I don’t write as fast as some people.
 
On the other hand, when I do have a schedule, I work hard to keep to it. Right now, it’s all Lovecraft all the time. At least until that other contract with the 90 day deadline comes in. Then it’s near future sci-fi.