Thursday, February 13, 2014

Write Away with Jeannie Watt ~ Why I Love Deadlines

Why I love deadlines….
1) Deadlines help houses get clean. I ask you, what makes housecleaning more imperative or palatable than having guests coming? I plan so as not to get overwhelmed at the last minute—one room a night after work, or one chore a night. My goal is to have the guest-arrival day free of anything except  detail work so I'm not all stressed out. Sometimes time gets away from me, though, and I’m mopping when the guests pull in. I’d hate to think of where I'd be if I didn’t have the deadline to spur me on.

2) Deadlines help get dinner on the table. When I was a stay-at-home mom after my daughter was born, I lived the life of Riley—I knew it and I appreciated it. It was the only time in my life that I didn't work outside the home. I spent the day writing and sewing when the baby slept and doing mom-stuff when she was awake. Yes, I did laundry--a lot of laundry, which triples when a child is involved--and housework and, if guests were coming, I’d try to mop before they got there. My one deadline job, though, was getting dinner on the table. When four o’clock rolled around, I’d have to start prepping. Sometimes I’d get caught up in what I was doing, look up and realize it was five o’clock. Usually then I would discover I was missing something integral to the meal I’d planned and have to make a flying trip to the store. After that it was a mad rush to deadline. My husband worked long hours on a drill rig and I had to feed him shortly after he came through the door, or else he’d fall asleep. Usually I made deadline.

3) Deadlines help get the books handed in on time. When one writes, one encounters more brick walls than a masonry expert. It’s so tempting to put off the writing until the brain doesn’t hurt, or the muse stops pouting. However, with a deadline roaring up on you, that isn’t an option. After my first few terrifying experiences with the Deadline Express, I began to plan my time more wisely and started working around the pouting muse. After all, there’s a deadline coming—usually at warp speed. If it wasn’t for the deadline, I’d probably still be on my fourth or fifth book, allowing myself to get into the mood.  

So in conclusion, all I can say is hurrah for deadlines! They force me to manage my time. How do you feel about deadlines?

Harlequin Superromance author Jeannie Watt lives in rural Nevada and writes fast-paced, character driven stories set in the western United States.   Her latest book, Cowgirl in High Heels, is available now.


  1. That's how I motivate myself too. I invite company over every other weekend (or more often), forcing me to dust, vacuum, tidy up those countertops, put away that clean laundry, etc.
    I remember in high school when I would work on projects from the date they were given, but I'd never finish until the night before they were due.
    Even today, I prioritize by "what's due first" and work from those times. If something isn't needed till three days from now, I rarely would do it "today", in case it didn't need to be done after all in three days' time (although that was rarely the case).

  2. Hi Laney--I'd say we tackle life in the same way. And you know what? There may be some close calls, but our system works.