know of several writers who have been working on their books for years; one for more than 12 years. I wrote my book in much less time. One reason was that I took a book writing and publishing course offered by Chandler Bolt’s Self-Publishing School (SPS), that guided me through the process. This is the same system used by the 8-year-old who published a book. The second was that for every step of the SPS course, I set deadlines for myself that were stricter than the ones imposed by the school. The school provides a day by day calendar to publish a book in 90 days. I shortened their calendar to stretch myself by working to more aggressive deadlines.
Why place Deadlines on Yourself?
Why does a writer need to set deadlines when the book being written is for themselves? Can’t they just focus on their book project exclusively ignoring everything else? Jobs, family, and life do not have a pause button. Isn’t it a matter of willpower? Isn’t one reason a writer may choose to self-publish is to control their own time? The answer to those questions is a resounding “no”. Life waits for no one. As my grandfather used to say, much to my grandmothers’ chagrin, “Life is a bitch then you die. The only thing that you can be sure of is death and taxes. So, make hay while the sun shines”. (When we were young and visiting my grandmother, this would make us all burst into giggles because we had no idea what they were talking about). Now, I know it means to “get your ass in gear. “
Without deadlines, life will intervene at every step along the way in your book creation process. There is always a non-publishing task waiting to suck up the writer’s time. Since writing a book is not required to eat or live indoors, writing can be pushed to the back burner repeatedly as life happens. Setting deadlines empowers the writer to understand which activities are being pushed to the right i.e. moving further into the future. Without deadlines, small slips are insidious and quiet. Slowly but surely, they move the writer toward the “never published zone.” “The never published zone” is littered with wasted effort, time, money, disappointment and regrets. Deadlines provide visibility to what is happening to the book dream as life happens to the writer.
With deadlines, the self-publishing writer is forced to think about the amount of work that will be required to complete the book project. This planning component of deadlines was invaluable to me while I was writing my book, NEVER A $7 Whore (live on Amazon August 05, launching August 08). I would take out my written schedule and review the milestone dates. When non-book publishing tasks pushed their way onto my calendar, I could tag them. My commitments to myself were in plain sight for me to address. This technique worked well for me.
Deadlines are a useful tool that a writer can use to manage the speed of the self-publishing process. The deadlines provide a planning opportunity for the writer to reflect on all their life tasks and commitments, not only their book. Deadlines are an aid to making a writer’s dreams reality.
“NEVER A $7 WHORE” Available on Amazon.com August 5,2018
Originally published at www.tonicrowewriter.com on August 8, 2018.