As the 42 DAY SOUL WRITING CHALLENGE was auspiciously named after Douglas Adams’ quote in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy: “the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42”, I think it most apt that I missed the deadline and it has actually taken me 54 Days to complete the 2nd draft of my novel The Silk Pavilion.
This is in honour of his other famous quote: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
On New Year’s Eve, I still had 12 chapters to go and intended a long night, but after being curb crawled by my friend’s husband and invited to a dinner party 🎉 (which I did not walk home from in a straight line), I decided to hell with deadlines, I’m going to LIVE. I’d also had some shocking news that week and the 42 Day challenge had not been an easy ride.
Deadlines are useful. I would not have achieved what I have without it. But let’s not be anal about them.
My friend said at dinner, “that’s why we love you.” And I finished her sentence, “because I f*ck up.” We laughed.
It’s ok to miss writing deadlines if you’re not a professional writer – life happens: paid work, children, deaths, break ups and general day to day chores. A few of my Soul Writing clients have enormous challenges to deal with at the moment as they write their first books or try to commit to daily journaling. The pressure of a deadline, missing it and then beating yourself up about it is useless.
Life sometimes gets in the way. And life is far more important than writing. As long as you get back on the writing wagon and finish whatever you are working on, that’s good enough.
I’d like to congratulate Soul Writers for the deep work they do to love themselves as they write, put life first and carve out “realistic” time for writing. Deadlines are only useful if they are achievable.
Thank you for all the cheerleaders 📣
Your encouragement has helped. This was not an easy edit as I was adding the Spanish Civil War (described by some historians as a holocaust) sub plot. It’s a relief to finish even if I’ve now changed the meaning of life, the universe and everything to number 54!
Categories: Creative Writing