One of my goals during the 10 Weeks of 10 Stories was to not drop other ongoing projects to meet my personal deadlines for the short stories. In the past I would take the time from the novel writing to do the short story. I often waited until I was close to the theme deadline, then did a panicked race through the story to get it done.
It turned a short story into a false emergency.
And my creative process didn’t work right for the story because I was rushing, and it gets rejected.
Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy!
In most cases, I knew about the deadline in advance, sometimes many months in advance. So with this round of writing, I wanted to write the stories, but also work on the novel and blog. As a result, I had to think about where the short stories would fit in my schedule and what kinds of deadlines I would write for.
This forced me to look at what else was going on that week. I went to Balticon and Virginia Beach in the same week, so I decided that a flash fiction story would be a better choice than a 3,000 word one. Then I attended Books Alive! and I had to work around that as well.
Compare that to last year where I was doing the A to Z Challenge. I hadn’t thought about how to manage the time for the 26 blog posts and turned them into false emergencies every time I posted. I went to ConTemporal, and it put a stake through the challenge.
I do think writing at the last minute has its place because sometimes last minute does crop up. But there should be a real reason behind it, not that I just didn’t manage my time well. At work, I get false emergencies all the time. People don’t plan well and wait until the last minute, and it all ends up coming to me. I’m also a worker bee, so I’m stuck with the system. I try to change what I can, but the one thing I know:
I can’t bring this home. Writing has to be fun, and false emergencies strip out the fun.