I must admit that it’s slightly ironic that I put off writing this post until the last minute. I take comfort in the fact that it was due today, so at least I met the deadline, right? And that’s probably why I resonate with this quote by English humorist & Science Fiction novelist Douglas Adams: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
Kidding aside, the fact is, many of us struggle with procrastination and setting deadlines is one of the best ways to make a clear plan for your writing goals, and one of the necessary evils when it comes to an author’s discipline.
A few tips I have found helpful for sticking to timelines are the following:
Think of your book or writing piece as a house you are building from scratch. A house has to be built in phases, and each of those phases needs a timeline.
Set a start date and a finish date for each phase. Each phase of your writing project should have a day you begin that phase and a day you complete it. Put it on your calendar.
Set realistic timeframes for each phase. If you really think you can write a chapter a day, go for it. Just make sure you really have that time each day, then block it out, and commit to it.
Focus on phase 1 first. Don’t worry about phase 2 until phase 1 is complete; just focus on phase 1.
Make your timeline public. Friends and family can be great motivators. Nothing will hold you more accountable than making your deadlines public.
Celebrate little victories. Save the champagne until after you complete your entire book, but make sure to take time to give yourself a little pat on the back for completing each phase. Then move onto next leg of the journey.
What tips do you have when it comes to setting and meeting deadlines? Please let us know in the comments section below.