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Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. An integral part of the homeschooling community, she has developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to homeschoolers and her fascination with the written word.



Deadlines

9/16/2020 12:42:00 PM BY Susan Lyttek

I both love and hate that word.

I love it because nothing motivates me like an external deadline. If someone says I must have x done by y date, I will bend over backwards and twist myself into a pretzel to try to comply. Then, usually, wrung out and exhausted, I do finish.

I hate it because I’m so dependent on it. I wish I could self-motivate and finish all my projects, even the difficult ones, without someone else saying ‘Susan, thou must…”

Last week I got such a kick in the pants on the 6-book series. Book 3 has been problematic because action is happening all over the continent. It’s not a big continent… I’ve estimated on my map about 250 miles across and about twice that north to south, and surrounded by water. But still, things critical to the plot are happening in various locations. Because of that, I initially had about a dozen POVs (point of views for non-writers) and for a hundred-page book, that’s much too many.

So last week, my publisher and editor sent me the galleys for book 1, the preliminary edits for book 2 and put the fire under book 3. I will have the first draft to her by the end of the week. Honestly, since we emailed back and forth, I have made more progress on book 3 than I have in months. That’s even with cutting substantial passages to reduce the whole POV thing.

So yeah, deadlines.

But the crazy thing is, to me anyway, that since I’ve dedicated more of my time and energy to it, I have reignited my love for the story. I want to tell it. I want Ne-tel to sail off the page and into the hearts of many YA readers.

With me, God definitely uses deadlines and external pressure to remind me where he wants my heart and what he wants from my writing. He doesn’t want the perfection that often stymies me. As Gary says often, “Perfection is the enemy of good enough.”

I know that’s true with me and maybe that’s true with you, too.

And maybe these deadlines that pop up from time to time will remind me that life has a deadline as well. I can only work here for the kingdom and serving my king for as many days as he has given me. There are more stories in my head than I probably have time to write. If I do the perfectionist thing every time, I definitely have many times more ideas than I’ll ever write.

So if I want to be productive, truly productive, I have to aim to do my best and say that it is good enough.