In my freelance work, deadlines are a fact of life. Every project comes with one, and I know exactly how much time I have to complete the work.
For that reason, I’ve always liked themed anthologies and contests: I know how much time I have to write the story and, generally, how long it should be. NaNoWriMo also comes with a very specific, built-in deadline, and I’ve participated every year since 2003. Blogging deadlines work for me, too — my Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour post on the second of every month, and the A to Z Blog Challenge.
Do you notice something that all of these have in common? They’re externally created. When I read Alex’s post yesterday (Deadlines? Deadlines? What are deadlines?), I agreed totally. Self-imposed deadlines are a pain in the neck, and there are no consequences to letting them slip.
What I’m finding useful this year, though, is combining self-imposed deadlines with external expectations. I’ve promised to have something new up for sale every month, and because I know people are waiting (even if it is just a handful of people right now), I make sure I get something done. Note the generic “something” here — that’s key. I’m not committing myself to any particular story or novel getting done and posted in a given month. Eventually, I’ll probably have to do that as I build an audience and they expect reliability. Right now, it’s just focus on getting things done and building that audience.
What do you find helpful to meet your goals, writing or otherwise?
Today’s post was inspired by the topic “Deadlines: Love’em or hate’em?”– May’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The next post in the tour will be on the 4th, by D. M. Bonanno. Be sure to check it out.
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!