The Power and Magic of Setting Writing Deadlines

I always hated the word “deadline.” It sounds stressful, business-like, not at all me. I am a creative individual and us writers like to go with the flow, wait for our muse, for inspiration to come. We certainly don’t like to impose timelines to our work.

I went around like that for nearly ten years trying to write my book. Since I was planning on self-publishing, I could take all the time in the world, and there was no end in sight. But something changed all that.

Just over a year ago, my mother passed away suddenly, and I had to fly back to England for the funeral. At the service, I remember thinking  – that could be me in the coffin. None of us know how long we really have. I thought – what would I be leaving behind, what legacy other than my children? Then I recalled the words of Wayne Dyer from one of his inspiring talks, “Don’t die with your music still in you.” I imagined departing from this earth with my book remaining unpublished on my computer.

That did it! After flying back home from the funeral, I asked my son to help me set deadlines for my book and to hold me accountable for it. We decided I would revise a chapter a week and submit it to him by noon each Friday. It worked! I discovered that while I wasn’t good at setting myself deadlines, once deadlines were set, I was great at keeping to them. This way I quickly got my book ready to send to an editor.

However, after the book was edited, I found myself drifting aimlessly again. Now  I had all the time in the world to publish it. I carried on like that until the start of the new year. Suddenly one morning, I woke up thinking of something I read,  how dreams are just a goal with a deadline. There and then, I imposed a deadline on myself!

Although I had no idea whether I could do it by then, and it was scary to put it out there, I made a commitment. I announced on my author Facebook page that I would publish my book on my birthday.

Well, today is my birthday and I am ahead of that schedule. My ebook is published and my paperback is about to follow.

The writer who hated deadlines now understands the power and magic of them!

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