Deadlines: Taking Yourself Seriously
- September 23, 2019
- 2 Comments
One of the hardest things about being an indie author is the fact that there’s no external force demanding a due date. You can write when you want and publish when you want. Though the freedom is exhilarating, it’s also hard to remember that writing is a real job—not a hobby (as many like to think), or something we do effortlessly as the mood strikes us.
If we’re professional writers, we need to treat our time and effort professionally.
I admit that it’s often a struggle for me to stay away from social media and the TV (and the refrigerator) as I put words to paper. And it’s easy to let it be the last thing on my to-do list when a hundred chores are clamoring for attention.
That’s why creating a deadline for your work is a good idea. Deadlines are motivating. Make one up and stick to it. You might need to play around with what’s best in a given time frame. For example, setting a ridiculously competitive deadline that you have no way of making unless you give up food or sleep is setting yourself up for failure. And setting one that’s too far away is terrible for procrastinators. (That’s me, by the way.)
Deadlines that are too long (“I’ll have the book written by August 2020!”) may need to be broken down into “I need to have five pages written by Friday.” Then keep to it.
Realistic deadlines don’t just make the work happen, they create a better mindset, a straightening of the spine from acknowledging that this is your profession, not a frivolous pastime. It gives you a reason to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t meet you for coffee tomorrow, I’m under a deadline.”
And you will finish your work.
So go look at this week’s schedule and see what you can do with it. You have a deadline.