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Posts Tagged ‘deadlines’

 

Painting from a photo I took on the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades. — Watercolor by Pat Bean

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful. — Taylor Swift

Or Disagree with

I came across this quote by Rita Mae Brown — “A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all” – while drinking my cream-laced coffee this morning. My instant reaction was to disagree with Rita Mae.

Deadlines, which I had almost daily as a newspaper journalist for 37 years, are my best, and most favorite, writing inspiration. They mean I have a writing job. I also think I do my best work when scrambling to meet a deadline.

I collect quotes. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t write one down in my journals. I want to remember the best of them because their words inspire me, make me laugh, or speak one of my own truths to me in better words than I’ve yet thought out.

But as this old broad gets wiser, I’ve come to question whether some of the more popular quotes are actually true, especially ones that indicate animals have no feelings or reasoning. How do we know the lark is happy, or the owl wise?

The years have taught me that I can’t believe – or agree with – everything I read. It’s a skill that I treasure in the age of the Internet, where anyone can say anything and everything they want, which is not a bad thing unless what they say is malicious.

Meanwhile, the beauty of Rita Mae’s quote is that a deadline isn’t everybody’s favorite thing, and it truly is a negative inspiration for them. In this, as in most things in life, how one looks at deadlines is neither right nor wrong, simply different.

Taylor Swift says it perfectly.

Bean Pat: Baltimore orioles

https://belindagroverphotography.com/2018/11/28/baltimore-oriole-two-photographs-2/?wref=pil  To brighten your winter day. I write about seeing my first Baltimore oriole in Travels with Maggie.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon and would make the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who likes to travel. Bean is currently writing a second book, which she is calling Bird Droppings, and which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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 “Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” – Agatha Christie

 

The view out my RV window at Wassamki Springs in Maine. I wanna go back. -- Photo by Pat Bean

NaNoWriMo Update … 40,035 words

First Maggie got the doggie runs. She needed to go out every hour on the hour for the entire night. The consequences of not crawling down from my bed over the cab of my small RV was enough to make sure I kept getting up hour after hour.

So I awoke with very little sleep, and so my writing suffered. My best writing occurs when I am in bed by 10 p.m. and get up and get in front of my computer by 5 or 6 a.m.

Second it was Thanksgiving, and there was family around that needed my attention, or I needed theirs, or whatever. And calls from family far away, and too much eating going on, followed by several games of Settlers, none of which I won.

And so my writing suffered.

Today, with the end of NaNo only five days away, it was back to the keyboard. My decision to demand everyone leave me alone, however, has probably earned me a few black marks in my ledger. It’s the big Christmas decorating-day here at my son’s house in Harker Heights.

My daughter-in-law looked shocked when I refused the call to arms.

The upside, however, is that today I got past the 40,000 word mark. if I write 2,000 words a day for the next five days, I will meet the 50,000-word goal.

What I have going for me is that I think I’ve figured things out in my head on how my story is going to end. And that in my 37 years as a journalist I never missed a deadline.

I’m also thinking that my conclusion might not take the book all the way to 50,000 words, but I’m hoping that’s the case. I have lots of extra scenes in mind to flesh out what is already written. The trick will be to add these scenes without deleting all the unnecessary and redundant words that go into all my first drafts.

It takes much longer to write short than it does long.

So now if you’ll excuse me, I still have writing I can do today. I don’t want to push that deadline beyond my capability.


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