by Staci Stallings
Let me be honest up-front. I don’t do deadlines.
I’ve known this about myself for… well, my whole writing “career.”
The thing is, I’m a journalist by trade, so you would think that deadlines would come naturally to me. Oh, how I remember the nights at the paper when I was a campus reporter, pounding out 16-inches of copy because they were going to put the paper “to bed” in 20 minutes, and there was no other choice.
Even back then, my stories, if I had any say in the matter at all, were in two days before deadline. I don’t like the adrenaline and panic of writing on deadline. I don’t like how focused you have to be to get something down and get it shaped into something worth reading on deadline.
I much prefer to have whatever it is FINISHED well before whatever “deadline” is imposed.
So why did I not have my last series finished before I published the first one last May?
Okay, in my defense, when I put that one up for pre-order in February, a year seemed doable to finish the very last book in the series. I only had one more to write. I should be safe. Or so I thought.
So I put that one out and started writing on the fourth book—Raising Attabury.
It quickly became apparent that Attabury was not going to cooperate. For one thing, there was no way I could just start on Eric and Dani’s story without filling in some major plot points of who we got from Book 3 to Attabury.
Doggedly because I had a deadline, I kept at it, figuring I would just do a short “prologue” about what happened in the between time and move on. Yeah. That didn’t work like I thought it would.
218 pages later… I finally got to Eric and Dani’s story. And it was OCTOBER!
Now, that wasn’t my fault.
In the meantime, I had written two other books I had not planned to write at all!
So, here we are in October with what amounted to a novel of prologue story, and I had just started Attabury. Turns out, I put the bridge book out as “A Moment Like This” in December and all seemed back on track. Except I did not have Attabury finished.
Here is the place I’m saying, “I’m never doing that again!” Because as I was writing Attabury, I was also:
* Running to basketball games two and three times a week with middle daughter. Senior year, don’t you know. I couldn’t miss one!
* Going to band concerts, choir concerts, open house, and every other thing the school came up with for both kids.
* Teaching Sunday School
* Doing a newsletter
* Running two businesses—including all of the January tax stuff like 941’s, W-2’s, W-3, sales tax, etc.
* Normal running of two businesses.
* Oh, did I mention Christmas, New Years, and helping with two retreats?
* And, wouldn’t you know it, in the middle of all of it, I got sick!
So the February deadline that looked so doable last year, suddenly got to be a much bigger challenge than I had anticipated.
There’s a part of me that always wonders if God kind of does this on purpose just so I know for SURE AND CERTAIN that I did not do it! Then I go back and read Attabury, and I KNOW I did not do it!
Not saying I won’t follow God’s lead from here on out because believe me, God’s way works, my way doesn’t. But I’m really, really hoping I never have to do that again because I was definitely not cut out to write that way!
I do hope, my readers enjoy God’s story… because one thing’s for sure, I know I didn’t write that one!
About the Author:
A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.