Deadlines-- Do you have 'em?

Aug 14, 2012

I'm a very type-A kind of person. I thrive on things like schedules, deadlines, and organization. So it's sort of killed me that I missed my personal deadline for finishing The Unhappening of Genesis Lee.

See, I had planned to finish around the first of July. But I was nine months pregnant, had a threat of early labor, and then actually had the baby (though not early-- one day late, in fact). Luckily, a new baby is a wonderful and adorable excuse, so I haven't been too hard on myself. I've been back into the writing groove for a few weeks now, and I've been able to set a new deadline I think I can stick to.

September 1, guys. That's my goal for finishing the ultimate final draft of TUGL. And then, to querying.

Deadlines can be a hugely helpful thing. They help me stay focused, keep my butt in the chair, and (because I'm weird), they actually get me excited as they get closer. They can also be stressful. I've found that the key for reaching my own deadlines with minimal stress is to create a plan for how I'm going to reach it. If I just sort of attack things willy-nilly, it's hard to do that. But if I know how much work I have and how much time I have, I can set out roughly how much time and effort I have to put in per day.

Then I just have to make sure I put that time and effort in. Which can be hard, especially with self-inflicted deadlines. Rewards for hitting deadlines can be a big help with that. I usually prefer it in the form of a new book, or a fun activity.

So, my friends, what about you? Do you set deadlines? Do you meet them? Do you have tricks and tips? And hey, are you hanging around WriteOnCon like me? If so, look me up and say hi! 

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17 comments:

rental mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Meredith said...

I set deadlines for myself, too, and I try to plan out how to reach them. Good luck with the final draft!

Melissa Hurst said...

This is something I need to work on. I have a habit of setting a deadline, then letting it slide when things come up and I can't meet it. I need someone to hold me accountable. :)

Lynda R Young said...

I always work better under deadlines, but I'm not so good under self-imposed deadlines.

Robin said...

I have deadlines-I need them to keep my butt in the chair, but I rarely make them. I give myself really challenging deadlines on purpose. Even so, every time I fail I'm disappointed, so with me it's a love/hate relationship.

janealfalor said...

I give myself deadlines and I usually am able to stick pretty close to them. Not perfect though. I'd definitely do better if someone else imposed them. I hate leaving people hanging when I've committed to something.

Donna Hosie said...

I'm another writer that has to have deadlines, and I work well to them.

We just have to remember to not be too hard on ourselves if we fall short once in a while.

Madeline Jane said...

Ah, I suck at setting deadlines for myself. I really need to sit down, set some goals and deadlines, and just focus. Good luck finishing! :)

Erica said...

I'm still getting the hang of this writing venture. I'd like to create smaller deadlines and discipline myself enough to keep them. I'm about to finish my first draft (of a novel) but I've been saying that since before my self-imposed deadline, which was back in May, one year after I began writing it. Feels like I outta be further along, but life has taken over at times. And it's my first major writing venture. And I can't justify the hours I want to spend writing when I have no paycheck to go along with them... yet. Does any of that make any sense at all? Am I normal? Sometimes I'm just not even certain what kinda deadlines are reasonable in regard to completing a 70K novel. I'll be looking to see what ya'll have to say about your writing routines. Timely post, Shallee. Thanks.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Having a baby and getting right back to work shows much about your determination to get things done. All the best.

Rachel Searles said...

I work best under pressure of deadline, but I haven't ever really imposed any on myself. Maybe it's time :P

Btw I read your posts in the WOC forums--your writing is great and the book sounds intriguing! Best of luck! :)

Jadzia Brandli said...

I try to set deadlines, but they have to be reasonable. Just because I want to get something done, doesn't mean I have to set an early deadline to push myself to do it. But if I didn't set deadlines, I'd never be able to get anything done.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I like setting goals for myself too, and I have a similar one as you. I'm almost done revising my manuscript and would love to start sending it out in September.

Good luck!

David P. King said...

I had deadlines. Whether I meet them or not is another story, but having a date to shoot for helps me feel grounded instead of floundering like a fish. :)

Traci Kenworth said...

Congrats on the new baby!! It's definitely hard to stick to a schedule with a little one under foot, heck, it's hard with two teenagers like mine, but if you want to write, you can do it and push through the hurdles. Good luck with the schedule. In summer time, with the kids under foot, my schedule goes haywire, but as school approaches, things begin to settle in again.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I just blogged about this recently and how I work best if I have deadlines.

J.L. Campbell said...

Haven't visited you in a while Shallee. Congrats on your little one. Hope you'll both doing fabulously well.

Deadlines help me too, though I often wait until way to late to start pressing toward the goal and than I get stressed out. :(

Lists help me a lot too. I've been meaning to update for a while.

 
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