Writer Quotes: Adams.

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -Douglas Adams.

As I did a quick search for Writer Quotes, thinking that it has been far too long since I’ve done one here on the blog, this gem from Douglas Adams was the first to pop up. Now, as an independent writer, the only deadlines I usually have are set by myself and incredibly flexible (publish a second book by the end of 2013? Ha, right!). However, this is November, which means the mother of all deadlines is looming over my head: the 50,000 words required to “win” NaNoWriMo.

Of course, the nice thing (or not, depending on your perspective) about NaNoWriMo is that it’s broken down into little mini-deadlines. You break down the words so that, within a week or a day, you’re trying to strive for a certain number (the most notable being the ubiquitous 1667 words a day). As I’m about 1705 words behind (including today 1667!), the fact that this was the first quote I saw seemed…applicable.

I’ve always been the type of person to work well under the wire, though, if the deadlines I’m working with are self-imposed, I’m more likely to let them slide. I feel that, sometimes, this can be one of the hardest parts of indie writing. If I have someone else telling me I should finish something by a certain time, I’m more likely to do it, because disappointing other people is one of the things I really hate to do. When it’s just myself, though, I like to pride myself in my flexibility, so I console myself, tell myself it will be okay, and set a new deadline…that will also likely whoosh by and settle itself in somewhere in the near distant future.

How are you with deadlines? Do you have some pretty structured ones coming at you, or do you mostly set yours yourself? Are you the type that mostly hears them whooshing by like Adams, or are you more likely to hear their screams of submission as you reach them and beat them to a pulp?

I’m definitely hearing the whooshing.


  1. Here’s the thing. Self-imposed deadlines are not deadlines for me. Why? Because I don’t honor them. I know one of the perks of self-publishing is no deadlines, but sometimes that isn’t necessarily a good thing.There are pros and cons. What I’m going to do, though, is bring up my trusty Google calendar, and I’m going to put my deadlines there. And start treating this like a real job again. I’ve fiddled around with my current WIP long enough. It’s been a year since I’ve published anything new except a short story in an anthology. I’ve gotten lazy. No more.

    Boy, did I need this post! Thanks! 🙂

    • Ha! No problem, Lauralynn. Good to know that the quote was timely for someone other than myself, too. I was on the right track towards treating my writing more like my real job, but my actual real job keeps interfering. I can start to feel the pull, though, where that job is less significant to me than writing, and I can tell it’s only a matter of time, patience, and dedication before things start to flip and my writing WILL be my main job, finally!

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