I know so many people who start projects. They’re very easy to start. An idea takes place in the mind and you just get so excited. I know I do. Then you want to sit down and pound away at the keyboard as everything whirls away in your mind.
Except something happens.
After a month, that stellar little idea doesn’t seem so great anymore. Plus if you still work a day job like I do, then sometimes it can be hard to come home form work and pound away at that novel. Especially when you’re tired and crabby and sick of people.
Add in all the other stress of life and man, these books are hard to finish.
It’s easy to start a project. I could probably start about fifteen tonight alone. But it’s a lot harder to have the discipline to sit down and finish one, really finish one.
As writers, we really need someone or something to hold us accountable. Because I’m pretty sure everyone knows that person who took years or even decades to finish a single book. Which, I’m not attacking people’s writing speed, but if you’re taking ten years to write a single book, then….
This is why, I’m really big on deadlines. Self set deadlines.
Now, I don’t have an agent or an editor who calls and bugs me to keep writing. I do have a few betas who want to know what’s going to happen next, but they are also pretty busy themselves. If I decide one day to just hang up the towel, no one will cry at this point.
But what I do know, is to set deadlines for myself. And even though I’m the only one who knows about them, they really help.
For instance, the book I’m currently working on, I’m almost at 55K words (Or about 130 pages.) I know I’m over half way done and how much story I have left to write, but I not quiet say exactly how long it’s going to be.
I also know that Game of Thrones season 6 comes out on Blu-ray in November (It’s late September when I wrote this post) and I really want to get it. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to finish the rough draft before it comes out. And if I don’t?
Then my lovely friend will be enjoying watching the epicness that is season six again without me. Because I’ll be at home slaving away over my keyboard. A sad but harsh truth.
And you know something? This really works. While I can’t write every night, I’ve been able to chip away at the novel when I can since making this goal. Because I really want season six! It gives me about seven to eight weeks to finish it.
(And yes, I’m very aware I could just download them. But I need an incentive here, okay?)
I think this is also good discipline for if and when the time comes that I do get an agent and an editor. I’ve heard many stories of how difficult it can be for an author when suddenly, they went from being able to write a book in three years, to now they have to do it in one. Because the publishing house (and more so, the fans) want that next book.
And to anyone reading this, I’m really not trying to set myself up to look like I’m a goody two-shoes. Because I’m not. I’m really not. I do however know that a lot of people set out to write a book, but get discouraged and then quit.
It’s rough, I won’t deny it.
But maybe, if they sat down, set reasonable goals and a path to get to that end result, then maybe they’d find better results.
Have a good week!