Whether you’re writing for a client, writing as a team or writing your first book, time is your only enemy and if ever you want to achieve a completed project, you must set a deadline.
You know why?
Writing is not the only thing you’re in the world doing.
You probably have a job, family to spend time with, friends to keep up with, groups to meet with and so on.
These are time-consuming perfect sources of distractions and ground for excuses and procrastination.
I had these projects I worked on for three years before realising how much I needed to do something about it.
When I started, I was writing up to a chapter a day, and then a chapter in a week, then a chapter in three months and then, one year, before I knew it three years had passed without achieving much.
When I set a deadline and started working with it, I made some alarming progress.
Without a deadline, a writer will be looking for trouble.
What does setting a deadline do for you as a writer?
It snatches you away from your comfort zone and fights with procrastination until you’re done.
Assuming you have a lot of projects to write, for example, you’re writing for many clients, for sure there will be pressure here and there. Setting a deadline helps to reduce pressure to make your writing less stressful.
Deadline just like goal helps you to stay focused and work hard to finish a writing task within a stipulated time.
When you’re known with meeting up with deadlines, you become a reliable writer before your clients. You gain a good reputation and this means more respect, more and more clients, more work assignments and more money of course.
Set Your Deadline.
List all those projects you need to complete.
Starting with the ones you want to write first, write down the lists of projects you need completed.
It’s important that you understand that you are human and not some robotic machine. Take as much as you can chew at a time. One at a time.
Do not take too many projects from clients or decide to write ten books at a time. It won’t work.
Break up your projects into small manageable tasks.
Manageable in the sense that even if it’s large, you’re sure to finish within the stipulated time, otherwise you reduce the task.
Create a daily time table and stick to it
For example, you want to finish the draft of a book within a month or two months.
You may decide to be writing five or more pages a day. This five pages you have distributed among the 30 days in a month and will be coming up with 150 pages a month or 300 pages in two months. No more, no less. The key is in writing those five pages a day.
You need to be very disciplined to be able to stick to the deadline. Discipline is the key.
I remember the funny words of Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
You know it’s always easy to talk about deadlines and the need for it but hard to meet up with it due to time factor and human weaknesses.
That’s when discipline comes in.
Need to finish a book or pressure from clients won’t make you work hard, it will only scatter your brain and makes it hard to concentrate.
Set a deadline, stick to it. That’s all you need to finish that project.