Deadlines can be, and will be, a point of stress in everyone’s life. Lately, my life has revolved around deadlines. New duties at work have brought on a wealth of deadlines that grow by the day. My personal life is always full of deadlines, especially now that we’re in the process of getting our house ready to try to sell at some point in the next few months.
However, no deadline causes me more stress, aggravation, and frustration than the ones relating to my writing. In part, this is because I push myself more and more to outdo the last one. However, it is also because no matter how much I try to plan for everything, ultimately too many things are out of my hands. I can write and edit as fast as humanly possible, but I’m beholden to how fast alpha and beta readers give me comments or to my editor’s and cover artist’s schedules.
I plan and then plan some more, building in buffers and so on. Yet, things pop up that almost always cause me to either alter my schedule or work thrice as hard once the ball is back in my court to meet my original deadline.
I wish I was the kind of person who could shrug and say, “Oh well, it comes out when it comes out.” But, I can’t. Missing a deadline or knowing that I didn’t do everything possible to meet my goal is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night, makes me nauseous, and makes my ADD go into overdrive. To me, missing a deadline is a poor reflection of who I am.
Am I the only one who has trouble just letting things fall into place as best as they can? What do you do to keep from stressing out when your deadline is affected by things outside your control?