Sticking to your own Targets and Deadlines.

One of the hardest things about writing, at least for me, has been creating deadlines for myself and sticking to them. It sounds simple enough, in theory, to set a target date whereby you plan to have a project or even an amount of words finished, but life can have a nasty habit of just getting in the way and pushing all ideas of getting anything done right out of your head.

     You can sometimes find that you end up pushing deadlines back because things are going on in your life that you just can not avoid. For me, this can be anything from getting sick to babysitting my siblings’ kids.

     However, deadlines are essential, and if you want to be productive and keep to your targets, then you must adhere to the deadlines you set for yourself.

     The key to staying committed to your work and staying on target is to keep your expectations to a realistic level. It can be easy to wholly underestimate how long it can take to complete work on a project or a piece of writing and if you’re anything like me, procrastination can set in firmly, causing you to either start late, or just put things off altogether.

     The good thing is that, if for whatever reason you are rubbish at reaching targets and deadlines, then there is something you can do about it and that is just to practice, practice, practice! I know, it’s said a lot about a lot of different aspects of writing, including the act itself, but it is undeniably true that the more you do something, the more proficient you will become.

     When it comes to deadlines, you should practice by starting with something small. You could perhaps begin with say, a word count of 300 to 500 words to be written every day for a week, or for however long you choose. The point is to be able to check it off the day’s workload as something completed.

     If you do this every day, then it will eventually become ingrained in you that what you start you must also finish, and finish on time at that. Then when you are comfortable and able to meet that target easily,  you can slowly increase your daily word target and then eventually move on to set yourself deadlines by which you hope to have the whole project completed.

     It’s all about practice and learning to stick to your guns; if you have planned to be finished by a specific time, then make sure you finish by that time and try not to let the work get away from you.

Anyway, as always thank you for reading. I hope you get what I’ve been trying to say.

Until next time,

George.

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3 Comments »

  1. Great advice. I went to a book signing with John Grisham and Lisa Scottoline last summer and in the Q&A portion of the event they were each asked about their writing habits. Grisham writes at least one full page every day, Scottoline writes 2000 words every day. Both agree that discipline and deadlines were essential for successful writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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