I’m Late, I’m Late… for What Exactly?

Happy Friday everyone. Casey Wyatt here.

One announcement first – on September 23, we will have a special guest blogger – Frankie Robertson. She’s a traditional and indie published author. Join us next week to hear more about her journey.

Now back to your regularly scheduled post.

See the rabbit? Aww…what cute little ears and soft bunny feet. Don’t be fooled. He’s a tyrant.

Whenever I start another book, I hear him in the background. An incessant timekeeper spurring me along – “You’re late.You’re late. For a very important date….”

For those of you following my blog, you know that in July, I wrote the entire draft of The Undead Space Initiative. It clocked in at almost 80,000 words. In order to accomplish this feat, I had to plan ahead of time. I didn’t “pants” my way through the book.

During the plotting phase, the White Rabbit or Naggy Bunny shows up (I know between him and the Doubt Monster, how do I have any sanity left?). I won’t lie. I feel the pressure of  years upon me. Like I don’t have all the time in the world. I must finish (whatever I’m working on) – NOW! The fate of the universe (well, my universe) depends on it.

Pshaw! This urgency is all self-imposed.

Here’s one of my secrets – I must have a deadline or I won’t achieve my goal. I’ve always operated like this and I figure, once I sell a book (or indie pub it), I’ll have to work to a deadline. Best get used to it. Otherwise, it’s easy to fall into the – I have all the time in world – trap.

If you find yourself floundering, try my trick. Maybe it will work for you too. I’m not suggesting you run off willy-nilly with no plan in place. Nor does this mean, you should stay in your house, foregoing all fun. All I’m suggesting – have a plan and try to stick to it.

How do you handle your time? Do you procrastinate? Or do you have the Naggy Bunny chasing you around too? And for our published guests – how do cope with deadlines?

26 thoughts on “I’m Late, I’m Late… for What Exactly?”

  1. You know, I keep trying with the artificial deadlines, and all I do is disappoint myself. I do best with a daily “sit my butt in the chair” requirement. Then I seem to produce at a steady pace. I’d forgotten that over the summer, but this last week my hubby has been out of town, and I got back to my routine. I guess that is a type of plan, too, isn’t it?

    1. Hi Tam! It sure is! We’re all different and you should use whatever method works best for you. I spend every day with my butt in the chair too with varying results. Somedays the only thing that motivates me is pressure – I know – so sad!!

  2. I happen to think willy-nilly is a pre-requisite to the actual plan. I really just like saying that–willy-nilly…great word. I’m a deadlines kind of gal. I give myself short term goals and write copious lists of what I need to accomplish today, this week, next week, next month. I know my meathod pretty well by now and I’m not typically a procrastinator, but I do sometimes need a boom hanging over my head. That’s why I set a realistic timeline to acheive my goal and then I publically announce my deadline. Nothing like the threat of humiliation to motivate the muse. I’m of the mindset that this is a job now and once I take on a responsibility (even if it’s to myself), I follow through–come hell or high water. No excuses, maybe a little whining, and no Naggy Bunny necessary. Accountability is my motivation.

    1. Yes! Yes. I totally agree with publicly announcing realisitc deadlines. In the past, Susannah’s double dog dare (and a little friendly competition) worked wonders for my motivation! And totally agree, writing for publication is a profession and should be treated as such.

  3. Deadlines…hmmmm. Haven’t really adhered to them. Finishing edits on this first book, has proved harder than I imagined. But I hold hope that once I finish, the next books will come out faster. Then I’ll have a clearer idea of how to plot and write according to deadlines.

    1. Joy, I am right there with you. I think I edited my first book ten times. 🙂 But now I know what I was doing wrong, and the next books have come out so much easier…and faster.

  4. I get nothing done without a deadline. Nothing. At all. In fact if I have not deadlines or goals I get 0% of the things that need to be done finished. If I have more to do than I can physically do, then I get 90% of it accomplished. It works for me.

  5. Do I procrastinate? No. I don’t have much time so I make a habit of not to waste it. I work in total over 80 hours a week and that’s not including being a mom. I rely a lot on lists. If I don’t write it down, it’s gone & forgotten about. With self-publishing, everything is on you! You lose time, you lose money and you lose people’s attention. That right there, is motivation enough for me.

    1. I hear you. I only have limited time to write (also have full time job and family!) too. I think all the Scribes are in the same boat. Thanks for the reminder: time = money.

  6. I agree with Jennifer Fusco in that I am a list maker. Right now, I’m unemployed so I have tons of time on my hands …. great you say. Yes and No. Honestly, I’m pretty busy with editing and research for a new project, but I find I do not write until the characters of the story perking in my mind are ready to tell their story. Once I am at that point, I write like a fiend. When I was employed, I wrote on my breaks, at lunch, at dinner, after dinner … heck, I even took my lap top into the bathroom with me (blush). Girlfriend, I LIVE for the day I have a publisher’s deadline to meet. All I have to say to Naggy Bunny is “BRING IT ON!”

  7. All right – Gerri vs. the Naggy Bunny!! I work in a similar fashion, spending a lot of time planning, then I write like I’m possessed. Then I have to slow down and take a mini-break so I don’t cannabalize my story immediately. I hear you on the contract, hopefully that day will come soon for those of us submitting!

    1. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. But deadline pressure usually works best for me. I hate those days when I’m drawing a total blank. It’s almost as bad as the days when I get idea overload and can’t make a decision (hmmm… another subject for another day!).

  8. I’ve had internet problems intermittently today 😦 and am just getting here. I think the Double Dog Dare worked better for other people than it did for me! I didn’t make my deadline, but I have made progress, and I’m calling that good. Sometimes deadlines work for me, and sometimes the little kid in me rebels, I stamp my foot, and say, “No! I won’t do it and you can’t make me!” (raspberry) I also seem to do better if I just get my butt in the chair most days. Now that fall is here I feel a burst of ambition, though. I think no matter how far away from it we get, that school work/play cycle is ingrained in us. I’ve got two WIPs that I want finished by the end of the year. It’s doable. Good luck, everybody!

    1. I loved the double dog dare! There is something about knowing that I have to meet someone’s expectations that can get me going. Of course, I was ready at the time. If I had nothing ready, I probably would have passed. I never noticed the whole school cycle thing. I bet there is some truth to that. Plus it’s not so hot and it’s easier to stay indoors. I’m looking forward to reading those two WIPs. Please finish them (see, I’m making that face). Pretty, please!!

  9. I just know you wrote this for me. I have completed two full manuscripts. Both of these were written as a single parent holding down two full time jobs. Now, the kids are grown and out on their own and I haven’t finished anything since.
    Too much time is a killer!! I think I’m one of those “need a deadline” gals, but I haven’t found one (yet) that works.

  10. Casey, it sounds as if you and I have a lot in common. I wish I had a bunny. Instead I have an old lady (where she came from, I don’t know) who sits in her rocker nagging me, “You really should be working on that!”

    I’m goal oriented too. I want to be there now! But I’m also trying to balance that with enjoying the process, the journey– not just the destinations.

    I’m looking forward to being your guest on Friday!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.