There are few things in life that will put a damper on your creativity as much as a deadline. However, if you plan on getting your novel published, you will have to surrender to those pesky little timelines.
Here are four ways you can be sure that you meet your deadlines with ease:
1. Put on Your Publish Planning Hat
Have you ever planned a party, wedding or special event? If so, it’s likely that you had a party planning calendar with tasks such as “Order Cake” or “Send out Invitations” that were due far before the event date. You can use the same planning concept for your novel! Simply divide the time between now and your publisher’s deadline and set task due dates. For instance, if you need 10,000 words complete in a month set a due date of 2,500 words every week. Write the dates down in your planner or program them in your phone’s calendar so that you don’t forget. (Reminder alerts help too!) When you meet your own deadline, reward yourself! This will keep you motivated for the next due date.
2. Pencil in Some “Me” Time
Speaking of schedules, don’t forget to make time for yourself! Getting too wrapped into meeting your deadline will just stress you out, deter your focus and give you a serious case of writer’s block. Publishers don’t expect you to work 24/7, their deadlines are designed to give you time to sleep, eat and breathe! So….BREATHE!
3. Keep it Clean
Don’t worry; we’re not talking about that steamy scene in Chapter three. We’re talking about your workspace. A cluttered, unorganized workspace will distract you! So, before you start writing or after you’re done for the day, give your space a quick clean-up. You can take it a step further by decorating your space with inspiring quotes, photos or colors (orange is a great one!).
4. Use the Buddy System
I’m tired… I have a headache… I have to make an appearance at a party… we all have excuses and we all convince ourselves that these excuses are real when they are not-so-true. That’s why having a “deadline enforcer” buddy is essential! Ask a friend, parent, sibling, or colleague to check-in on your personal deadline dates to make sure you’re where you need to be. And, when you’re feeling “sick,” your buddy is likely to make you feel better and get you back on track.
Most importantly, do not stress yourself out! This is your dream and it will come true if you keep your mind focused on your novel.