Wednesday, April 13, 2011

10 Signs of An Approaching Deadline

10. Your normally loquacious imagination now mumbles "Umm..."

9. You've worn a path in the carpet from your pacing.

8. You notice you're typing more typos than actual words.

7. You have to describe a sunset. The only word that comes to mind is 'pretty'.

6. You're drinking cold coffee.

5. The manuscript you swore yesterday was near-to-perfect now reveals itself as riddled with errors.

4. Your knowledge of rudimentary grammar and spelling seems to have disappeared along with your typing skills.

3. Your closest relationship is with your thesaurus (see #7).

2. You're convinced this manuscript is the one that will give away that your previous success was an error and you actually have no talent at all.

1. You promise yourself to never put yourself through this again. You know you're lying.

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Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her twelve murder mystery games and two plays are available through She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine "Elias". Her blog, "It's A Mystery," explores the writing process with a touch of humor. She is on Twitter as @elspethwrites.


  1. I can relate. I go through this around income tax time!

    Morgan Mandel

  2. What fun. Especially liked number 7. I seem to find it hard to come up with a great descriptive word when I am pressured.

  3. Good one, Elspeth. But you forgot the procrastinator's special: the deadline pressure forces you to find even more creative ways to avoid writing, until the pressure peaks and the words start to flow... (love that rush!)

  4. Very cute post. For me, though, deadlines mean I'm drinking way too much coffee. I gulp it down, then get up and get more - using the walk to the kitchen to talk to my characters.

  5. Morgan; I go through this around tax time too!

    Maryann; It's frustrating isn't it? Sometimes that perfect word just refuses to reveal itself.

    Kathryn; Even though I am a master procrastinator, I respect deadlines! I agree, however, that rush is great.

    Helen; Coffee is an essential component for meeting deadlines! Good for you that you use the walk to talk to your characters - I use it for muttering "Get it done, get it done..."

  6. LOL. I love deadline edits though. That last month is when you need to pay big bucks and have someone help you finish the dang manuscript. Why struggle alone?

  7. Dani; Excellent point. It is a time for all hands on deck.

  8. You're incredibly clean from taking 5+ showers a day because you always come up with the word/idea/solution you need while in the shower.

  9. Linda; YES!! There's always a bright (or should I say clean) side.

  10. I love this...especially #7. ;)



The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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