"It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
Way back in 2008 I did a post called Deadline Dementia for the Unpublished author. At the time I was unpublished. I had no idea how valuable this post would be for me as a Published Author.
So I'd like to share the updated version of value of Deadline Dementia as you are writing into the last hours of Speedbo.
You thought Deadline Dementia was just for published novelists didn't you?
When your "published in novel-length fiction" writing buddies groaned and muttered incoherently about editors, revisions, lack of sleep and so forth, you were quietly thinking ....
Yeah, well, I'd kill for your deadline.
I'm here to tell you that Deadline Dementia can and should be yours published or unpublished.
If you need help with effective goal setting find a methodology that speaks to you.
Check out :
ZenHabits on Really, Simple Goal Setting
"I believe in keeping your goals simple, and if you do that, goal-setting and goal-management doesn’t require software. In fact, you can do it with a single index card."
Steven Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
"Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the process itself…it is gradual. Ask yourself the simple question—what is most important to you in life? Making a list of values that you want to live by is, in and of itself, a small “win.” ...acknowledging these small victories gives you confidence that you are on the right path and allows you to take a deeper look at what your goals and purposes are. As you move forward, you are encouraged to go, even more specifically, into action planning and setting deadline dates by which you want to accomplish those things."
Brian Tracy, Author of Eat That Frog
"21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time. According to the old saying, if you eat a live frog first thing each morning you'll have the satisfaction of knowing it's probably the worst thing you'll do all day. Using "eat that frog" as a metaphor for tackling the day's most challenging and most prone to procrastination task, Eat That Frog shows readers how to zero in on these critical tasks and organize their time. This means not only getting more things done, but getting the right things done."
With this in mind I want to encourage all of you--NO, I DARE ALL OF YOU, to join #1K1Hr on Facebook. It's absolutely the best way to Eat That Frog that I know of. And..if you are listed in as a member of #1K1Hr by midnight tonight, I will add your name into the hat for a copy of Brian Tracy's Eat That Frog, print or digital.
BTW before #1K1Hr, writing a thousand words a day like Mary Connealy was a dream for me. One I really could only do on the weekends, but 1K1Hr has totally changed that. Now I lay down the numbers then spend a day or three editing. But you know you can't edit a blank page.
Once you have your goals set deadlines.
Time passes whether you finish a book or not.
"Consider this: If you write one page a day, you will produce a substantial novel in a year's time. The writer who turns out one book a year, year in and year out, is generally acknowledged to be quite prolific. And don't you figure you could produce one measly little page, even on a bad day? Even on a rotten day?"--Lawrence Block
Granted, today authors are expected to produce far more than one book a year. But if you aren't producing even one a year how are you going to write two...or three?
How fast can you write anyhow? Entertain these real life (happened to me) scenarios:
- you get a request for a full from a contest on a manuscript that consists of three chapters
- your submitted full manuscript comes back with suggested revisions
- you get a phone call from an editor who wants the rest of your manuscript (its done but its rough)
THIS IS HUGE!!!
When my editor wants to coordinate with me regarding the deadline for my next book (P.S. I just sold another book to LI, release date TBD) I absolutely must be able to give her an educated response!
If you don't set deadlines and track your writing pace how will you answer when your editor asks how long you need to turn your proposal in?
Often it is difficult to focus your time and energy on what can seem like an elusive dream (selling a book).
Here 's are some ideas and thoughts that have inspired or encouraged me stay focused and to create my own Deadline Dementia.
1. I love contests, because of the deadlines. For example: every year I complete a new manuscript by the RWA Golden Heart deadline. I didn't have to submit it but I have to have a first draft completed or nearly so.
2. Susan Mallery really inspires me. I highly recommend her workshop on writing productivity. It is based on figuring out many pages you write a day, and increasing by half a page every few weeks.
3. Years ago I heard Cindi Myers speak on how she plans her writing year based on how much income she needs.I recall her setting a writing goal for the new year (the dollar amount she set for writing goals was what I currently make in my day job). The first step toward meeting her goals is strategizing what she needs to sell to bring home the bacon.
4. I like to remember Nora Roberts thoughts on the writing muse:
“If you need to believe in the muse, let’s say, fine and dandy. Whatever works for you. But don’t tell me you can’t work today because the muse has left you. Go track down that fickle slut, drag her back, chain her to your keyboard, and GET TO WORK.”
"I don't believe in waiting for inspiration. It's my job to sit down and figure out what to write. I think if you wait for 'the muse' you may wait a very long time."
5. My Seeker friends can tell you about what I lovingly refer to as "jammy days". These are my own personal Deadline Dementia days. I like to plan several back-to-back, depending on my job schedule. The following are forbidden: showering, cooking, cleaning, leaving the house, watching TV, or talking on the phone.
I run all errands ahead of time and stock the cupboards with necessary provisions.
This is not unlike Speedbo, book-in-a-week scenario or the basics of NaNoWriMo, except that I do it several times a month because I am basically a Weekend Writing Warrior.
So my fellow writers, it's official. Deadline Dementia is for everyone.
As you go into the last hours of Speedbo remember that what you've accomplished this month will help you as you continue along the path to meeting all your writing goals!
Today is THE LAST day of our March Speedbo. Find out more about Speedbo and our exciting weekly prizes here. Comment today for a chance to win! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.
Be sure to holler, this is the last day to be considered for :
Yet another fantastic box of books for one reader/cheerleader!
Mary Connealy critique
Audra Harders critique
Glynna Kaye critique
Tina Radcliffe ChatMyra Johnson synopsis critique