Having a deadline for your book or other written work is akin to having a goal. In order to reach that goal, you have to take steps, or you will not reach it. These steps need to be incremental and methodical, steps that are geared to reaching that end goal. This takes discipline and intent.
Many writers whom I meet do not set goals nor do they think they need a deadline. This makes it difficult to finish the book let alone even write it. Deadlines are necessary. The deadline needs to be feasible, or it won’t happen. If the deadline is set too far in the future, chances are that the necessary steps will not be taken each day to reach it. If the deadline is too close, the writer may feel too pressured and give up. Find the happy medium. Make the deadline comfortable, but not too comfortable.
Are you going to be attending a workshop or conference and want to showcase your book? Are you trying to put your book on the market for the holiday shopping season? Or do you have a deadline that is not related to book promotions but rather is a personal one, such as a birthday or anniversary? Whatever you set your deadline to be, create a ballpark figure of how long you think it will be to attain it (remember this is trial and error) and work back to create a schedule. Do remember that your deadline can be flexible and adjustable. Just don’t move the goalposts too close or too far so that the deadline becomes ineffective.
Taking small steps.
It is the act of taking small steps each day which takes us to the finish line, the deadline. In order to achieve this, some planning must take place, or the book or written work will not be completed.
In order to do this, you need to create a solid writing routine. Breaking tasks into small steps each day rather than trying to complete them in one big chunk once a week or even month, will make writing easier.
In order to do this, you will need to write at first each and every day until you establish a writing routine. You do not need to write for a long period of time, just long enough to establish writing as a daily habit.
Once the writing routine becomes a necessary part of your daily life, then you’ll want to be a little more specific about what you do with this time. Look at your overall deadline. How many words do you envision your book to be? How many chapters? How much will you have to write each day to accomplish those goals? Will you need to draft a chapter once per week or once per day?
Having an accountability partner.
Having an accountability partner can mean many things, from making a social media post that you are writing a book to having writer friends or even a coach upon whom you can lean on for support during the writing process. There will be days when you do not feel like writing or when other things in your schedule begin to take precedence.
You can schedule social media posts about your progress. You can join a supportive writing community, filled with positive writers who will provide good and healthy feedback and listen to your concerns. Be ready to be the same for your fellow writers, too.
Being a writer means opening up to new ways of learning and doing. You don’t want to think too much. Just write and be willing to listen. Not only just to others, but also to yourself by following your writer’s intuition to create your best writing yet.
Need help with writing a book? The Author’s Writer is here to help you via ghostwriting, editing, mentoring and coaching.