by Cait Johnson
Deadline. It’s not a warm and fuzzy word. In fact, it can remind us of the hospital monitor flatline that usually means the patient is, you know, dead.
Back when I was a starry-eyed new author, I believed deadlines were graven in something violently explosive that would shatter if I missed one, maiming me for life, and booting me into a circle of hell that included never being published again. But no, a seasoned editor friend told me with a wise smile, nobody makes their deadlines. Editors don’t even expect you to make your deadlines. (Note to students: Please forget you ever read the preceding.) It’s all an attempt, said my friend, to keep authors at least in the ballpark of being on track, which is, she went on, an awful lot like herding cats.