I don't mean to be a terrible blogger, really I don't. But I'm on deadline — in fact it's a huge brick wall at the end of the tunnel and my train is going to crash headlong into it in the next 3 weeks. You might be wondering how I found myself in this predicament where the time is running out and I'm writing like crazy. “Doesn't she know how to set a deadline?” you may ask.

Well, yes. But a couple of special projects came along, and I wasn't about to say no. Not because I didn't feel I could say no, but because I knew I could do the work. Yeah, it's a bit grueling — but if I weren't doing this, I'd be puttering around and making excuses as to why I couldn't clean the house or something. Worse, I'd be at DSW, combing the clearance rack for new heels (actually that's worse for my husband, not so much for me). ๐Ÿ˜‰

So here I am, writing two to three thousand words a day. Before I was published, I wrote regularly — but it was very easy to go do other things if the writing got hard. Can't quite figure out that scene? Then go to the mall, or go shoe shopping, or call up a friend and go to lunch.

Now, I can't do that. And I really don't mind.

I'll tell you the truth: when I see unpublished writers lamenting that they just can't get the muse to work that day or that week or that month, I shake my head sadly. Because that used to be me, and I know it for the excuse it is. It's an excuse, a cop out. Because if you ever hope to publish, you have to write. And once you get bought, especially in category romance, you'd better be ready to write at least two books a year (said at the RT Harlequin spotlight just over a week ago). Two books a year minimum.

There's no time for finicky muses, no time to ‘get in the mood', no time for procrastination. You simply must write.

My work ethic has always been good in that when something is expected of me, I will deliver. But what do you do when something isn't expected of you, when you can go shopping instead of wrestle the book?

You have to find a way to make it work. If it's setting deadlines for yourself, bribing yourself with new clothes or shoes, or maybe a nice weekend away somewhere, you must finish the book. And you must do it at a good pace. Two books a year isn't unreasonable, and these days they kind of expect it in single title as well. Gone are the days when you could write one book a year.

So, I've rambled on long enough. I have a book due in 3 weeks. Have to write!