I think the headline of this blog post says it all, don't you?
If you don't know me, then you wouldn't know I am a procrastinator. When I was a kid, my mom used to plunk my butt down in a chair to work on a book report for a book I hadn't read -- that was due the next day.
Well, now I'm an adult who indie publishes and it's like I'm nine years old again, sitting at the dining room table at 7pm, overwhelmed, cranky and trying to skim a paperback novel in order to write a cohesive summary. Except, that I'm the author of the book and it's not finished yet (Is this metaphor working? I can't tell).
Anyhoo, I gave myself a deadline of July 1st and guess what? Mama's not done. It's the middle of September and my mystery novel is still being drafted. I was so confident that I would meet my self-imposed deadline this summer that I contracted my cover art early (although, that was smart thinking) and put a deposit down on my editor. Meanwhile, I have several more scenes to write, edits to make, beta readers to hit up, and revisions to tackle before the editor even sees the damn thing. When I look at a calendar, I don't see time leisurely spread out before me. I see minutes and days ticking away and I'm still not finished.
See that deadline, Kim? *whoosh* You missed it.
Indie authors need to be disciplined. There is no big publisher breathing down our necks to finish our work. No agent to whip us into shape. If we don't write and publish, we don't make money. There are lessons to be learned here and I am learning them.
1. Set a reasonable goal. With a toddler at home, it's not easy for me to always hit those daily word counts. So aim for 1k words a day. Totally manageable.
2. Have a detailed story plan. The reason I'm struggling now is because I veered from my outline and changed the plot. A detailed outline is my best friend and makes for quick drafts. I need the outline finalized before I venture on.
3. Remove distractions. Translation: Get off the freakin' internet. Specifically: Facebook.
4. Carve out time. I sit down to write when my daughter is napping. It's sacred time. I do nothing else. No laundry. No dishes. No phone calls. I just write.
5. Hold myself accountable. Or have my husband use guilt as a way to hurry things along. "The longer it takes you to finish your book, the longer it takes to earn money for the family." Well played, dear.
So there ya have it. My next book will go a lot smoother -- hopefully.
How do you stay focused on your writing projects? Do you hit your deadlines?