Create your own deadlines and get writing

From Unblock Writer’s Block: How to face it, deal with it and overcome it – with over 70 writing exercises to get you started and keep you writing

I am a freelance writer. I earn my primary living writing news and magazine articles and documents (case studies, media releases, website content) for clients. Since my livelihood is based on me delivering the right words, on time and on budget, I take my deadlines seriously. But what about this book?

I will be self-publishing the book, so I don’t have a publisher breathing down my neck asking me when I am going to deliver the manuscript. If I never complete it, I will never publish it. It’s as simple as that. But I really would like to write it. I’ve mentioned it to a few people and they want to read it. Plus, once it’s out, I will be able to conduct workshops on overcoming writer’s block and will be able to sell a few copies at the workshops.

But I don’t have a deadline. A lack of a deadline can lead some writer’s into serious bouts of procrastination. Some writers call their procrastination writer’s block. I won’t argue with them, but I will say this: When you don’t have a deadline, its way too easy to not write and to come up with reasons for not writing.

I think you know what I’m going to say next …

If a deadline has not been imposed upon you, create your own deadline. Now if I sat down on Monday and said, “I must have a book finished by Friday,” I’d be nuts. Instead, I chunk my deadlines.

I set a date by when I want to have the big picture outline created—the 10 to 15 topics that ultimately become my table of contents. Then I set a deadline for outlining each chapter. Then I set a deadline for writing each chapter, followed by a deadline for taking a break (putting the book in a drawer for a few days or a week). I then set a deadline for reading my first draft, and set deadlines for editing each chapter and for having the book copy edited and proofread. And even for formatting the book, getting the cover designed and publishing it.

And yes, I might start on, say, January 1 and say to myself, “I’d like to have my book on overcoming writer’s block published by April 1.” But then I chunk my big deadline into a series of small ones based on the actions I have to take to go from blank page to published book.

If you are reading this book, chunking my deadlines worked!

Chunk your book or any writing project. Create a detailed outline. Create a series of deadlines. Remove the intimidation factor. And write.

[View introduction to Unblock Writer’s Block]

[View The first draft of anything is not so good]

From Unblock Writer’s Block: How to face it, deal with it and overcome it – with over 70 writing exercises to get you started and keep you writing

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One thought on “Create your own deadlines and get writing

  1. Pingback: The first draft of anything is not so good | Everything You Wanted to Know about Freelance Writing

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