Since the first time I published a book (a long damn time ago), I struggled with deadlines. I think I’d ultimately set myself up for failure, knowing that no one in their right mind could hit that kind of mark. It was unfathomable. I guess it took me a couple of years to realize what I was doing wrong, and how I could fix it and of course, hold myself accountable.
Like most people, I have a seriously busy schedule. I know that we aren’t supposed to have more than we can handle, but at times I feel like I’m treading water and thanks to my excellent doggy paddle, I’m never going to drown. I’m just going to be stuck here waiting for a life boat. <- Poor analogy I know. I’m not saying that no one is as busy as me, but at times I’m like, how do we woman do it. I have a full time day job, I have a husband, two kids, and a puppy. I try my best to be a full time author, and I am part owner of a new business adventure. When I say that there aren’t enough hours in the day, sometimes I’m being serious.
So anyway, long story short, I just wanted to discuss something that have helped me to stick to a deadline.
And away we go…
1. Setting realistic goals- Quit setting yourself up for failure. Set realistic word count goals. Like for instance. If I want to write a book in 30 days I really need to write at least 2 thousand words a day if not more depending on the size of the book. That includes weekends. But weekends are no good for me. I like to spend that time with my family. So, I tell myself “Hey, how about writing 1,000 words a day” If I go over that goal, then fabulous, if I don’t that’s okay. I usually make it up somewhere down the road. It’s okay to set low goals and slay them. Writing anything is better than writing nothing.
2. Are you overthinking? – Quit worrying about how good your book is, and just write. So what if it sounds like you just vomited the words. You can fix it later. This is your first draft, and it’s important to just write. Normally the whole time I’m writing the first draft I’m telling myself that it’s a load of crap, and my first round of edits are going to be horrendous. Usually, it ends up being no where near as bad as I thought it was. So, stop overthinking.
3. The BLOCK has hit you…- Do you have a bad case of writer’s block?? That’s okay. It happens to us all. We don’t know where the story is going, or we suddenly don’t have the desire to write another word. Maybe we can’t because we can’t even form complete sentences. That’s how much of an idiot we are! Not really. We aren’t idiots. Even if we feel like we are. The Block has hit us all in one way, shape, or form. The only way for me to escape it, is to write through it. I know that doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes I will open up a brand new word document and just write. It may have nothing to do with the story I’m working on. Hell, it usually is a bunch of bull crap. But once I get my groove back and can go back to my story. I can read over the last couple of chapters and find my niche again.
4. Keeping your goals a secret- I have found that if I tell my readers something, they expect me stick to it. It’s my word, which for goodness sake, is sacred. I told them that this is the date I’m releasing, so I damn well better stick to it. STUPID STUPID STUPID. This is a good way to set yourself up for failure. No way are you going to hit your deadline if you are under that amount of pressure. Good ways around this are to tell your readers how your writing is coming along. Give them a teaser every now and then. STICK TO THE PHRASE – COMING SOON. Once you have that first draft under your belt, then you can set your release date. Then you can get your readers hyped up and ready. If you’re like me and you don’t want to let them down, then don’t tell them. Keep your deadline to yourself until you’re close enough to the finish line that you won’t let anyone down.
That is all my advice for now, and feel free to take it with a grain of salt. I’m no NY Times Bestseller. I just know what works best for me.
HAVE A GREAT TUESDAY !!