Monday, July 27, 2009


Procrastination is an obstacle that has challenged me all my life. After spending 2-1/2 years working with Leroy Cooper on his memoir, the time has finally arrived for me to complete the project. It should have been easy. I had the material. My plan was set. Cooper had told me all of his stories and I knew what needed to be done.

I was writing magazine articles every month and always completed them before my deadline (editors are always impressed by writers who come in early) but there were always excuses - not reasons, but excuses - to delay the project.

My mentor, a very successful author gave me a valuable piece of advice. "Set a deadline," he said. I was silent. "Set a deadline and then meet it." I promised him I would and within a few days I had done it. In the past three weeks I have completed more work than I thought was possible. I've stopped accepting assignments from magazines in order to meet this deadline and complete the memoir.

Now I have a plan. Meet deadline. Manuscript to editors. Work with publisher on cover art. Make changes. Turn it over to the publisher. Then the marketing campaign begins. But, as Oprah would say, "That's another show."


J. M. Strother said...

I empathize with you Susan. I am the master of procrastination. I am finally dusting off a manuscript that was rejected a few years ago. Should have turned it around right away. Oh well, water under the bridge at this point. Now it's time to polish and send it out to another market.

Looking forward to seeing your cover.

Susan Cross said...

Hi Jon, As you can tell from my post, I was up until 2 AM working. My eyes are bleary, but that's my own fault for procrastinating. There's an old saying that the amount of time it takes to complete a task is directly related to the amount of time given to complete it. That's what deadlines are for!

Susan Cross said...

Jon, Get out the duster. Two years should give you a new perspective. Writers write. We have no choice. But set a deadline!

Kevin said...

I am the procrastination ideal. Which causes me nothing but misery and pain. I have so many stories that have never even been submitted and so many others I keep putting off.

Make a deadline huh? Hmmmm, well it's worth a shot.

Susan Cross said...

Some little detail (well maybe not so little) came up this morning and I may have to move my deadline by a week. So much for deadlines! I'm still going to try to pull it off, though.