Writing to deadlines (aka waking in the middle of the night)


Writing my debut novel, The Sister, was a joy. Even now I remember waking up in the middle of the night, stomach churning with excitement as I thought of a new plot twist. Each day, after work, I couldn’t wait to open my manuscript and get stuck in. I dreamed of being published of course, but never really thought it would happen to me.  I was writing for fun. For me. With no time pressures and no deadlines.

My second psychological thriller, The Gift, is now available to pre-order, and this time I’m writing knowing it will be published as I was lucky enough to sign a three-book deal earlier this year. I’m still waking in the middle of the night, stomach churning, but this time with nerves. Will it The Gift as successful as The Sister? What if readers hate it? Will I finish the edits on time? My deadline is the first thing I think of when I fall into bed and it pops into my mind as soon as I wake.

Naively, I never really thought of publishing as a business, more a collaboration of creative people who share a love of books, and the structure is something I am still getting used to.

Once I sit at my desk however, I lose myself completely in my manuscript, and all my fears evaporate. When I’m writing, nothing else matters and I feel utterly at peace. Writing brings a sense of home, wherever I am.



Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Write the first thing that comes to mind following the prompt and post – no editing allowed. The prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “bus.” Use it as it is, or find a word with the letters “bus” in it. 

11 thoughts on “Writing to deadlines (aka waking in the middle of the night)

  1. The great thing about a deadline is that you have to get on and do it. I don’t have one at the moment, so I’ve been floundering about, but I will be imposing one soon – just got a few “admin issues” to deal with first. Glad it’s all coming together for you

  2. I know exactly what you mean re the deadlines Louise, I experienced exactly the same thing with The Girl and the Sunbird after having all the time in the world for The Poet’s Wife. I suppose it’s only with the benefit of hindsight, once we are actually published that we can look back with a kind of longing to those comparatively carefree writing days. Like you, I am still adjusting to our publisher’s writing regimen – it’s not easy! X

Thanks so much for reading!

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