Deadline Fever

Now I’ve gone and done it! I missed my self-imposed deadline for finishing this first draft by the end of September. I guess there is nothing to do but rend my garments. And it was going all so well. Until my body realized that working, fathering, and writing is fairly exhausting. Not that that makes it a good excuse. But I think all of us writers can relate to wanting to get some words under our belts and finding what coins out is just tired gibberish.

So, I took a few days off of writing to rest my weary mind. That few days turned into about a week. Nerts. That threw my whole deadline off.

Which doesn’t really mean much. Or does it? I’m proudly self-publishing and my ultimate answer is I don’t really know. I guess one question is what is my deadline for?

The answer is partly for motivation. Having that dangling sword above my head lets me know I need to keep up the hustle. Keep up that steady progress. Watch that deadline creep up and keep at the old keyboard. And the deadline lets me schedule out how much I need to get done when. What kind of a timeline can I give my beta-readers? How much pressure do I need to but on my artist? When do I need to start the crowdfunding so that I can get the book printed and distributed on schedule.

That deadline can serve as great motivator to keep things moving.

Except when it doesn’t.

As much as it can serve as a whip to keep me moving it can just as easily turn into an anchor that I feel I have to carry. A lot of work goes into self-publishing a book. Admittedly I’ve only done the one, but I certainly remember how many little aspects there are that need to get accomplished. It feels like a marathon of sprints. Even when I am on schedule that knowing what that deadline represents and how much further I need to go is an exhausting prospect.

Still, I think that my deadline helps me. I think without it I would just keep pushing things back and back and back. I’m tired of only having one title next to my name. I’m tired of peddling that one ware. I want to expand my library. And of course the hope is how those kind souls who read my first book and who will read my second book that my skills have sharpened.

But before I can do any of that, I need to finish this book. 20,000 words to go on the rough draft. That should make it less than two weeks to go. And then the editing begins. Bless it.


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