I’ll be honest with you. I’m drowning in a deadline. Drowning. Digging through my brain for something clever to say.
I’ve got nothing.
I’m sitting out here on my front porch with my notebook (it’s a cement step, not anything lovely like a wraparound porch) watching my husband Joe mowing the lawn, followed by my almost-three-year-old grandson pushing his bubble mower.
Blog post. Blog post. Blog post.
I’ve got nothing.
My oldest daughter got married last weekend and promptly left for another state, along with my granddaughter. I have a book deadline at the end of the month (did I mention that?). My brain and my emotions are fried. Toasted. Burned to a crisp.
No, really. When I get this close to a tight deadline, that’s exactly how it feels. Every last ounce of energy is dedicated to Slade and Laney, my hero and heroine for The Cowboy’s Forever Family (Harlequin Love Inspired, March 2015). My family has learned over the years that when I’m in the zone, they are on their own. They’re (mostly) okay with that, except maybe for when I forget to come up for air long enough to eat. I forget to feed myself, never mind them. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.
Today I’m thinking about (dreaming of!) after the deadline. Needless to say, I’m especially zapped when it comes right down to the wire like this one has. So how do I recover? Refill the creative well?
If you guessed sleep for a week you’d be partly right, but I have a new proposal due immediately after I finish this book, so sleep for a day would be more accurate.
That said, here are other ways I stimulate my muse to function again.
I pray like crazy throughout my deadline, that He will give me the words and that those words would bless others. But when the book is done it’s time for me to reconnect with God and simply enjoy His presence. There’s no better way for me to fill the well
I try to make special time with my loved ones after neglecting them on deadline. Extra hugs for the grandson, playing games, reading books. I give a little more thought to feeding them balanced meals. And I clean. You do not want to see my house on deadline. It is scary.
For me, music isn’t just for renewal. I crank my playlist during my deadline as well as afterward. But now I can relax and listen, let the music take me away. And if I can catch a live concert (Texas Tenors, anyone?) or attend a live musical theater event, so much the better. I come away from those occasions feeling filled up and ready to create.
I read all the time, but don’t tend to read in my genre while I’m headed down the home stretch of my own book. Proposal time is when I get to catch up with all the great books my fellow authors have been cranking out.
I take evenings off when I’m not on deadline. Movies are not only enjoyable and relaxing, but I unconsciously pick up plot, character and structural devices I use to help me become a better writer.
So there you have it–how this author makes it through her deadline, and what comes next. I’d love to hear what you do for fun and relaxation. How do you refill your well?
Deb Kastner’s July release from Harlequin Love Inspired is Redeeming the Rancher.