day six: giving yourself deadlines.

When I made the decision to re-release EVERY SHATTERED THING, I thought all I needed to do was edit the book, change the cover, find a new title and then put it up on Amazon. We'll go over why this may not work for you in the marketing week, but as for writing, I'd never get anything done if I actually chose to go this route. 

I have to have deadlines.

I hired K.P. from Inkslinger PR and was given a deadline for when the final draft would be sent to book bloggers. But even then, it was just the deadlines of editing and revision. 

What about if I was writing an entirely new book

This spring, when the words of SOMEWHERE BETWEEN WATER & SKY began falling into place, I knew I needed to pause for a second and set some deadlines. First, I contacted Inkslinger again. They had openings in August and September for book releases, so I contacted my cover artist to see when she could have a design ready. 

End of July. 

This meant that my cover reveal wouldn't be until August, which pushed my release until September. It also showed me that I needed to have my final copy ready by the end of August for book bloggers who would read + review my book for the launch. 

So the book had to be finished by the beginning of June. Not impossible. I grabbed a handful of beta readers who would read the book as I was writing it (and expect updates) to keep me accountable. 

Between March (when I started the book) and September (the release date) I would be moving, visiting my newborn niece, teaching eCourses, hosting a writer's retreat, and working on The Story Unfolding. And that's just what I knew. 

This didn't include the sick days, the hard days, or the ones where I questioned whether this book would ever get out into the world.

So within these deadlines I gave myself some wiggle room. While discipline is necessary, so is grace. Things happen. I had to switch editors and barter services when funds ran low in June. I planned on allowing one more round of beta readers before release, but editing took longer than expected when real-life drama overshadowed the need to watch my dangling participles and hasty descriptors. 

But those hard deadlines: the ones where I knew I needed to send the rough copy to my editor, deliver the finished (and polished) copy to Inkslinger for reviewers, and the release date in September where it would be available to anyone — those stayed in the back of my mind and pushed me to write even when I didn't know how I would come up with one more sentence.

Give yourself deadlines and then share those dates with people you know will hold you to them.  It's the first step you can take to make sure you finish your book.

Need more inspiration? Introducing Hustle & Flow: a weekly letter with artistic visioning for the everyday creative. I would love it if you signed up, and I won't ever spam you. Promise. 

You'll get hints and anecdotes about getting unstuck and living your most artistic life within the midst of your every day poetics. AND, if you sign up during October, you'll get some special extras dealing with indie-publishing, including a PDF with the publishing calendar process I take myself through every time I write a book.

Posted on October 6, 2014 and filed under indie publishing, writing.