I write a lot about deadlines on this blog. Even more about sticking to them no matter what. And then about how I can’t stick to them. I guess sometimes you might think I would get more done if I stopped giving myself deadlines and just wrote at my own pace. There’s a good reason why I’m not doing that though. A really good reason.
If doesn’t work for me.
I did that, for years. And the only times I got anything done was then I met up with my friends to write, or the month happened to be November. Even with write-inns, I usually got less than ten thousand words written in total throughout the year. I’ve managed more than that in a day during November!
So, I give myself deadlines. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Or, they work, just not in time.
What I mean by that is that I work towards the deadlines, more than I would without them, but I don’t always finish by the set date. Through the past year you’ve seen that happened a lot on this blog. I set deadlines, and as they approach, I extend them. But that doesn’t mean I’m not trying. It’s just that a lot of the time, I’m so tired after work that I barely have the energy to walk the dog, let alone walk her, then make myself a nice healthy dinner and then sit down to edit for a few hours.
I’m taking steps to improve my time management, which in turn will hopefully help me get some writing and editing done during the week. I need to figure out a schedule that works for me in the long run. November is the exception, where I drop everything else to write. That won’t work for the rest of the year, not as long as I need to work full-time as well in order to pay the bills.
I’m trying out using a Bullet Journal, and I’ve come to the realisation I need a more realistic goal for my editing. Once that doesn’t require me to do at least two chapters a day on top of working and everything else. I’ve found I need to do a lot of rewriting for TAO (not a big surprise, this was a Nanowrimo novel after all), which takes longer than I’d like. But I’d rather extend my own deadlines and get a third draft that’s starting to look like something, instead of one that still needs massive work cause I wanted to finish faster.
Having talked it over with Catrine, we’ve got two new dates to work towards.
October 2nd : We’re gonna try to finish by the end of September. It gives us more time to plan the Nanowrimo novel and get ready for the November Madness.
October 16th : What we’re calling the absolute deadline. We’ll hand it over no matter what. This will give us 2 weeks to read the other’s book and give feedback, as well as plan for November. This will be like the December deadline last year. We’ll hand it over no matter what. Because at some point we really need to just do it, instead of extending it any more.
This gives me four to six weeks to finish. Now all I need is a plan that incorporates reading, relaxing, editing, and working. And then I need to stick to it!