Friday, 26 September 2014

Making Deadlines

I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but keeping my deadlines as an Indie author is probably the one thing I struggle with most.
I have my goals in mind at the start of any project. I give myself the date at which I want to have the first draft finished. I estimate the time it will take me to edit. I factor in the time it takes to make a cover, get my feedback from my beta readers, and format the ebook.
Yet somehow, despite all my planning I always seem to run out of time.
Writer’s block stalls the first draft, editing takes longer than I expected and so on.
But of course the main problem is simply life. Writing, sadly, is not yet my full time, and only job. I have a day job, that admittedly doesn’t take up a huge amount of time, but certainly makes it harder to focus as much as I would like. I have a partner, and a dog, and a house to keep tidy (during first drafts the first thing to get neglected is the housework!).
Yet, I think I have figured out the hardest part. I am the only person who sets my deadlines. I am the only person who cares or suffers when the deadline is missed. Of course, I have readers who are anxious for the next book to come out, but they don’t yet badger me for the sequel. I have no editor nagging at me to get them the latest edits.
The only person I have to push myself, is me.
I wish that I could end this post by offering some advice for other writers who suffer the same thing, but I can’t. I’m still trying to come to terms with this particular problem. So instead I’m going to end with ASKING for advice.
What do other indies do to make sure they stick to their deadlines? What’s your trick for getting yourself to work when you have so much else on your plate? All advice welcome!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post Nicola, and it's like you wrote it just for me! As you know, I'm down to crunch time when it comes to getting the second book in the E series done. You're right-- there's so much that gets in the way, and I, too, have a lot of other responsibilities that are competing with the book.

    I wish I had some good advice to share, but I'm not sure I'd recommend my approach to everyone else. See, a lot of people have been saying to me that it's OK to push back release dates, take the time you need, and all that. This makes fabulous sense on some levels, and it is probably the way to go for most people. I, however, tend to take impending deadlines as a challenge. If I'm running out of time, it means I need to work harder. Some things will fall by the wayside (housework??? seriously???). There is much sorting of priorities. Luckily, my family is very understanding and supportive, even though they do feel a bit neglected for a while. I will pull late nights and early mornings, drink gallons of coffee, and keep on going. It's just how I am. Thinking about it now, I was always the kid who procrastinated writing the essay that was assigned three months ago, and wrote it the night before it was due. I don't procrastinate with my writing anymore, but I suppose those experiences were really good practice for last-minute work on a larger scale.

    Anyway, I don't really recommend running yourself into the ground to finish something on a deadline that can be moved if you desire. I'm sure it probably takes a few years off of your life. :p But that's how I deal, and I don't know if I am capable of the more logical approach of... omg... being flexible.