Let’s face it. There are a few people in the world who internally drive themselves toward their desired goals. The rest of us just aren’t wired that way. If we don’t have a deadline, chances are we won’t finish the project.
Repeat after me: Deadlines are my friends. They will keep you with your patooty in the seat and your fingers on the keyboard. You have so many distractions in today’s world, without deadlines, you’ll never get where you want to be.
Think about it. Your rent or mortgage payment is due on the 1st. Because you know that, your purchases throughout the month are made with that in mind. You can’t afford to not have a roof over your head so you are diligent with your finances. The same is true with your writing. If you have deadlines, you’ll be more diligent with your word count.
Meeting deadlines earns you the reputation as a dependable author, something that is essential if you want a career in the publishing industry. Even if you don’t have an editor expecting your completed manuscript on the 15th, you still need deadlines. Otherwise, you’ll just be tempted to play board games or go shopping for the seventy-third pair of stilettos.
Here are a few reasons why it is so important to set self-imposed deadlines and to take external deadlines seriously.
Deadlines jump start your creativity. It’s true. If someone is in a cave and the entrance collapses, they automatically set this deadline for getting out of the cave: before they run out of oxygen. Their mind kicks into overdrive and they figure out a way to get through the stone wall. If you self-impose a deadline, it flips on the creativity switch and your story flows.
Deadlines are effort gauges. Let’s face it. Sometimes life gets in the way of our writing. That’s just how it is. What’s more, some days we can’t muster the physical or mental energy to sit at the computer and pound out prose. Sometimes we can push through. Other times we can’t. With the deadline circled in red on our calendars, we have a daily reminder that we need to pick up the slack from yesterday or last weekend.
So how do you set effective deadlines? Here are some suggestions. Continue reading “Make 2012 Count, Part 3: the Rent’s Due on the First”