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A Day in Deadline Hell…

September 24, 2021





September 15th.

30 days until deadline.

Gotta get my shit together. I look at my calendar and ruthlessly scrub everything I can from it. I will write night and day. 3K minimum. No excuses, no whining, no time left for my intellection to ponder or my connectedness to try and think of ways to blend the theme together with the ARCS of the characters – I need raw words on the page.

Kids off to school. Gotta answer email. Crap, I forgot I have those copyedits and those FB ads I was supposed to schedule. Kohls credit card is due already? I’ll just pay that and move on to the rest later.

Set up my headphones and playlist. Are you kidding me? My headphones are dead – I forgot to charge them. I’ll have to listen on speaker while they charge up.

Manuscript up. Read the last few paragraphs. Ugh, what happens next? Why are there endless scenes of them in the conference room and diner? Is that all I can write about?

I write a few hundred words. My mother calls. I pick up eagerly.

Half hour later, I’m back. Oh, I forgot that podcast I need to promo on social media. I’ll do that, then back to work. Also more coffee. Oh, dogs need to go out.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m back. Where was I? In the conference room again? Ugh, they have to have sex soon because I don’t know what to write next. They’re not even close to sex. Can I speed things up?

Write 1K.

Yes, I’m on the move! Who cares if they’ve eaten more pancakes- they’re talking and bantering. Banter good. Need to stretch. Eat lunch. I deserve a little break, right? Better to write like the wind all afternoon. Oh, new Real Housewives episode is on – I’ll watch for a bit, eat, then back at it.

Two hours later.

Shit! What happened? OMG I’ll make more coffee – no, I’m supposed to be drinking more water for my diet, I’ll open up some seltzer. Dogs again?

Fifteen minutes later.

Back to it. Headphones are charged at least. Why does my editor need this now? The release isn’t till February. I’ll do it later. No, better to do it now while it’s fresh in my mind.

Half hour later. Okay, I’m on this book. I got this. I am a goddess. I’ve written NYT bestsellers. This is my fiftieth book I know how to write! Where’s the GMC again? Not here. Fine, I’ll worry about that in edits I need WORDS. Ugh, I need 1700 more to keep to my deadline.

This book sucks.

500 words more. I need to check Facebook real quick. Super quick. Hey, that looks like a good book to read I better buy it. Will help with my craft. Oooh, reverse harem on sale? Click on that baby. Where did those shoes come from? Do I need more shoes? No. But maybe I do? Let me just check.

One hour, two books, and two pairs of shoes later.

Are you kidding me? I have to get to work, no more messing around! The dogs AGAIN? More water. Better music. Ugh, I hate this book. Can they have sex yet?

500 words.

Are the boys home? You gotta be kidding me -I’m so tired. I better go check on them and chat about their day.

Much later…

Dinner? I’m ready!

Much later…

I still have to write 1K and I may die. This book sucks. But I can’t watch Big brother until I do. And I forgot to meditate today dammit. Plus exercise. Maybe I’ll dance around the office for a few minutes to loosen up? I like this song…

Back to it. Where was I? Banter. Sexual tension. Why do I keep writing about this secondary character? Do I care? Will a reader care? There’s no description—it’s like the entire book is taking place in a white, windless tunnel. My editor is going to kill me.

Focus. Write.

500 words later.

I’m going to die. I’ll write 3500 tomorrow and make up for it. I’ll do anything to get away from this book. Isn’t it supposed to be better by the halfway mark? I’m only writing 70K this time and it’s over. No more 100K books that’s too hard. Maybe even 65K it still counts enough toward my contract, I think. They have to get to sex that will be a lot more words.

Shut down the computer and leave.

Snack. Watch Big Brother. Read. Hang with kids. Stay up way too late.


I cannot wait until October 15th.



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  1. Robin says:

    Omg! I freakin love this (and u) Jen!!! It’s so accurate and sounds just like me too except for the whole writing thing ! Lol

  2. Kristi Weersing says:

    I love this this! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. samanthachaseauthor says:

    OMG! This was the greatest thing I’ve read all day!!
    So much better than the book I’m supposed to be writing instead of scrolling on FB. LOL!!
    Seriously, I adore you. This was awesome and scary accurate!

  4. This is me. Every. Damn. Day. You totally captured the writing life here. Well done, my friend!

  5. Janice Hampto says:

    I can so relate to this especially about your characters eating pancakes. My characters are always doing some mundane task when I can’t think of what to write. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  6. Maria says:

    I love this!!! Speaks volumes. I can so relate! I teach 6th grade ELA and finding time to work on my 5 manuscripts is soooooo hard!! On top of it, I’m trying to revamp my novel I published in 2011 and relaunch it. All this while grading papers from my 125 students! I wish I could add 10 hours to my day or give up sleeping and just survive on espresso. Thanks for sharing and letting me see that even successful authors struggle to find time like us struggling ones!😊

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