deadlineI am now in the midst of my third round of queries. Looking for the one agent who wants to represent little ole me and my manuscript. It’s hard to put yourself out there in queryland with your work, your heart, and soul on paper, and have it rejected. However, according to a heck of lot of good writers, it’s no big deal. “All it takes is just one agent.” I will be patient and wait for him or her to break the cycle. (And a little prayer now and then couldn’t hurt.)

In the meantime, I’m writing and writing and writing. Working on Book 2, emailing a new query letter out to another agent every time a rejection dribbles in, and working on a short story. I’m planning to enter the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop submissions again this year and at least two other contests. All this puts me under the gun—my very own handmade, crafted from self-doubt and old insecurities, but very pretty gun. I create deadlines.

So DEADLINES or Dead Lines. We’ve all stood in the “dead” line waiting at the DMV or something to that effect. And we’ve all seen “dead” lines of dialogue. Dialogue that just lies there, doesn’t breathe, never goes anywhere. Some authors write brilliant dialogue that’s so alive it jumps off the page. I certainly aim for that target.

Now back to other deadlines, zero hours, countdowns, moments of truth, or timewoman-businesswoman-under-stress-missing-her-deadlines-46982593 frames. What are they good for? Increasing stress levels? Time management? Binge eating? (I digress).

It’s funny how I always work well with deadlines. For some reason, it’s good for me to have a time limit. I need that invisible person holding the stopwatch or the checkered flag at the end of the race. Do deadlines stress you out?

According to the dictionary, the definitions for the word DEADLINE are as follows:

  1. The latest time by which something should be completed.
  2. A line drawn around a prison. If prison guards catch prisoners crossing the line, the prisoners will be shot.
  3. A deadline is a line not to be crossed.

Being able to set my own deadlines right now is one of the nice things about being a writer. The lines not to be crossed are squiggly and sometimes as flexible as a rubber band. On the other hand, if I am lucky enough to find an agent, and subsequently a publisher, I’m sure I will no longer have that luxury. Hey, I think I’d like that kind of deadline even more.




Published by jodywritessouthern

Jody Herpin writes with a southern accent. Re-discovering her love of writing in the last ten years, she has completed her second novel, "Relative Consequences," and is currently researching her third. In 2015, Jody received First Place for Novel Submission at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for "Weather Permitting." In 2014, she received Third Place for the Microcosm Award at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for her piece, "View of a Lifetime." She's constantly reading, researching and soaking up knowledge about her craft. Born in Savannah, Georgia, she has lived most of her life in the South, attending Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia and living in Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolina, Florida and Virginia. If she's not writing, she is decorating her home, attempting to paint with watercolors, reading, rediscovering the guitar, walking her Mini-Australian Shepherd, Bella, or cheering for her beloved Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Jody married the love of her life in 2014, and she and her husband, Mike Boggioni, a professional musician, live north of Atlanta, Georgia. She has two grown children and six amazing grandchildren all of whom live close enough "to holler at."

4 thoughts on “Deadlines

  1. Hi there! I wish you luck with the agent hunt. I am getting ready to begin my own. If you do not mind sharing, is there anything you wish you would have done differently from when you first started the search?

    1. It’s been trial and error for me. I’ve revised my query letter over and over, but I’m a perfectionist so it’s never quite right. The only thing I would say is to make sure you are sending your query to someone who has stated that they are looking for your genre. I sent some out at the beginning that I should not have. Good luck with your adventure into “queryland.”

      1. Thank you so much, I have been considering purchasing a copy of Writer’s Market and I have heard to follow agents on twitter. How do you find what agents to submit to?

      2. There are several ways. Yes, definitely purchase the Writer’s Market and check out agencies webpages for agents who are looking for your genre. Also, is a good source. Twitter and Facebook are also good. The Writers Digest is another site to check out. You can’t do enough research. Publishers Marketplace is another. Google those sites. Make sure the agent you are looking at is also “accepting” unsolicited queries. It does take time and research. Good luck and thanks for reading my blog.

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