I’ve touched on the subject of deadlines before, but it was a small mention, and the tour brought it up as a topic, so it is a good time to address some things.
First, I must talk to the new writer. Technically, until the contract is signed and in hand, you’re deadline free. Write when you want, what you want, how you want. Please. Enjoy that freedom. However, also realize that, in order to realize the dream of publication, you’ll need to establish habits and schedules to discipline yourself once that contract arrives.
I kinda miss the days of no deadlines.
No, I haven’t scored a contract with a publisher. However, I have decided to establish for myself deadlines of what I want done. Mostly, I created word count deadlines. These I also call “Goals.”
Let me see if I can work this as a sports metaphor to help you understand my position.
Think about the game of soccer. The ball is your writing. Your team consists of other writers helping you complete your writing, your editors, and your readers trying to make the best book possible. The defending team consists of excuses not to write, your other obligations, and of course life (that’s the goalie). If you think of making your deadline as scoring a goal, then we have a good concept going.
It doesn’t quite start at center field, however.
Instead, you’re starting by the opposite end of the field. There is only one goal on this field. You’re trying to reach it. The size of your team and the size of the defense depend on you and your needs. I would suggest that your team have at least four people on it beside yourself. These would include an early reader who helps you edit, a fellow writer for the support and more editing help, your agent (if and) when you get one, and your publisher.
To add to that metaphor, consider that when you have an actual contract, suddenly you now have a timer attached to your soccer game. The goal must be scored before the timer reaches zero. Some writers might consider that an additional defender on the field. To me, that final destination is my cheerleader, urging me on, around the obstacles in my path.
It’s all in the perspective.
Today's post was inspired by the topic “Deadlines” as part of the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com/. This ongoing tour allows you, the reader, travel around the world from author's blog to author's blog.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s posting over at: http://suesantore.com/
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com