I think the term deadline has “dead” in it for a reason. That four-letter word commands attention. And writers shouldn’t blow a deadline. Ever. Yeah, sure, life gets in the way sometimes. But really, stop and think about this. What’s getting in the way? If it’s a freak accident that has left you with no way to use your fingers? Okay, you get a free pass. Ditto, the sudden illness or death either to you or a family member. Anything else is a lame excuse. Your daughter has Girl Scouts? Tough luck. Your husband’s away and you’re the sole support of the kids? Tough luck. You recently acquired a new pet that requires lots of training? Tough luck.

I say, “Tough luck” because those aren’t time-sucking emergencies. Really. They’re just not. If you’ve got time to Tweet, or post on Facebook, or watch Dancing With the Stars with those “life got in the way” moments, you could have been writing. Being a successful writer takes more than just a great idea for a story or two. You’re not even a successful writer because you’ve published a story or two.

A successful writer is devoted to the craft.
A successful writer would rather write than do just about anything else.
A successful writer makes realistic goals and reaches them.
A successful writer is not distracted by new ideas, the latest gossip on the Web, or American Idol.
A successful writer guards her reputation as an author by remaining professional at all times.
A successful writer treats her writing as a responsibility and a passion.

Now if you’ll excuse me…I’m on deadline.