February 22, 2011

You Might Be Under Deadline If…

Man's face covered with post-it notes

I’m in a deadline cave this week, so I have just a short post inspired by my current crazy schedule.  I’m so grateful to my awesome critique partners and beta readers.  They’re trying to keep me sane.  Or at least, they’re trying to keep me from going completely insane.  But I’ll admit that at least some of the following signs have applied to me in the past few days, so it might be a losing battle.

If you’ve ever experienced a deadline, this list might not seem very funny, but be careful of those post-traumatic stress disorder relapses, okay?  If you haven’t experienced a deadline yet, go ahead and laugh.  And then hope it never happens to you.

You Might Be Under Deadline If…

  • You forget it’s your birthday.
  • You decide a party would take too much time anyway.
  • Your significant other says it’s okay not to shave.
  • You decide you don’t have time to take a shower anyway.
  • You don’t answer the phone.
  • You ignore all non-deadline-related emails.
  • You’re incapable of carrying on a conversation because you already have 5 deadline-related thoughts filling your brain.
  • You take sloppy one-handed notes of the ideas that pop into your head while brushing your teeth.
  • You think 4 hours of sleep can sustain you—every single night.
  • You’re still wearing yesterday’s clothes.
  • Your butt goes numb from not moving from your chair.
  • You forget the rest of your house/apartment/office exists.
  • Your family/co-workers deliver food to your desk.
  • And you still forget to eat.
  • And drink.
  • And sleep.
  • And go the bathroom.

And the number one sign of being under deadline (at least for me):

  • You stay off Twitter.

Have you ever had a big deadline?  What coping strategies do you have?  Can you think of other signs of being under deadline?  Share your additions to this list in the comments.

Photo credit: Bizior Photography

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Comments — What do you think?

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Karen Hooper

Oh no. Don’t forget to go to the bathroom. lol.
Try to remember to breathe. That helps immensely. 🙂
Good luck!

M.E. Anders
M.E. Anders

I am definitely with you on the “staying off Twitter” one – this post put a smile on my face…great way to start the work day.


Ha! You’re doing great, Jami. Deep breath, shoulder roll – now back to work! *insert whip cracking overhead here* 😉


Amanda Bonilla

Great post! I’m pretty sure I’ll be there soon! I’m already choosing revisions over cleanliness.

D. F. Krieger

Is it sad I laughed at some of those BECAUSE I’ve been there? Thank goodness stuff like breathing doesn’t require thought, or I’d have suffocated a long time ago. Love this post Jami!

Laura Pauling

I haven’t had real deadlines, but self imposed ones. And yes, the first thing to go is the social media!

Kay Whitby
Kay Whitby

If that’s the case, I think I’ve been under deadline since last April…

Todd Moody

I was wondering where you were. I hadn’t seen you on twitter and thought maybe you were busy with something. This deadline stuff sounds terrible!

Lili Tufel

I just saw this post. I’m soooo late. It was worth it, better late than never. It really made my night. You are spot on every single one. But um…I don’t think my hubby would find it as funny as I do. And your number one would have to be my number one for sure.
Love your blog Jami.


Deadlines mean you’re in demand! Congratulations.

Hope to see you on Twitter again, after you address the list you’ve got going there. Especially the last 4 items. And the shower thing. 🙂


You missed “you realize it’s been almost 24 hours since you last brushed your teeth”

Good luck! BICHOK!

Kristin Lynn Thetford

This is hilarious! Thanks for the post!

Clay Morgan

I can definitely relate. I’ve not had publishers deadlines regarding books, but I used to edit a biweekly publication that was pressure packed. My friend got me a poster back that said “Deadlines Amuse Me.” Fitting at the time. These days, I’m always taking projects down to the wire! Best to you during your literary sprint.

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