Deadlines for a not-professional writer

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One nice thing about being a not-professional writer is that I don’t have any deadlines. It’s nice because if I can’t get it done, there’s no harm done. I’m the only one impacted and frankly if I couldn’t get to it, I had other stuff that needed attention. That said, I do have a deadline of sorts for Wine Bottles and Broomsticks. I’m publishing a chapter a month on channillo.com I think that if I missed a deadline there, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. People have subscribed and presumably are reading it. From that perspective, I do have a deadline.

What’s interesting is that I’m holding myself to that deadline. Of course, one chapter a month isn’t a particularly lofty goal. Some folks out there are publishing daily and weekly. This is not something I could do. It just takes me longer and I’ve got few hours in the day in which to write. In fact, I got up at 4:30am just to slap this silly post together. That said, after nearly missing the second deadline I set for myself, I decided I really had to work ahead. Now, I’m a few months ahead of schedule and working as much as I can to actually have all of the chapters of this book done, but the pressure is off and I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of chatper 6. I know exactly where I want it to to and chapter 7 too, I even have the end sketched out.

So what if you’re stuck Dave, you’re months ahead of the game, why don’t you let it cook if you need to?

Because I want to get this project done. I still need to get back to the War of Shadows re-write and also start working on another project I’ve got rolling around in my brain which I think I’d like to do Nanowrimo this year. Not only that, the Wine Bottles and Broomsticks project is really a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve already got a pretty good sketch for a second book, and dammit if I don’t want to get to that too.

Anyhoo, this rambly ramble is about considering the possiblity of upping the stakes for Wine Bottles. I’m debating putting the pressure on and releasing ever 2 weeks instead of monthly. Now that it’s winter and I’ve finished the new duck house and various other outdoor projects I’ll actually have half a sunday or so to sit down and work on it. I know that when I actually have time to focus I can knock out about a chapter a week. This gives me one week for writing and one week for revisions/rewriting. As a not making money from writing and having a good time with writing but aiming at being a full-time this is my actual job sort of writer, it’s a pretty aggressive schedule. However, if nothing else it’ll motivate me to finish. 

I still haven’t made the actual decision to go to evey 2 weeks, I think I want to get through chapters 6 and 7 before I make that call. Anyhow, that’s my update – I’m writing, I’m making progress, and I’m actually having a good time with it. With that, I’ll leave it. I’m out of time, the day job beckons!

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6 thoughts on “Deadlines for a not-professional writer

  1. jessmbaum says:

    It is getting on the perfect time of year to write more. The best deadlines are the ones you create for yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Onion says:

    I really want to suggest that your progress bar is missing the “spinning beach ball of death,” even though that doesn’t really mesh (for lack of a better word) with the content of your post. I just have a hard time picturing a progress bar that doesn’t have a “spinning beach ball of death” associated with it. I would liken a clean (no beach ball) progress bar to a “blue moon” in nature, except that clean progress bars may be more of a rarity.

    Also, glad to know that you are making progress. If you are interested in Nanowrimo, I would be happy to pretend to participate with you for moral support (we both know that I won’t commit more than a few thousand words before I give up, but I will keep up the illusion if it would help 🙂 ).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kudos for sticking to your own deadlines! Me, I don’t think I’d want to publish something episodically like that – I think of things to edit or add in previous sections too often. Do you ever encounter problems like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, not so much. This project is funny, actually. I conceived of it as a series of shorts totaling just a handful of chapters, but I’m having so much fun it’s sort of spiraled to something quite a bit bigger. From that original perspective, I’m focusing more on the plot of each chapter than the overall plot arc making the overall plot more of a series of events connected by a very loose road map. The one problem that I should be having is character development – you can’t go back and fix a weak character. It’s forced me to make each character come out much stronger. For developing those characters each previous chapter is something of a fixed point from which to work. All that said, I do try to have the next 2 or 3 chapters drafted before I publish the next. I do go back a chapter or 2 to tweak for consistency. It’s sort of freeing, really, to write it and then take the mindset that it’s done and I have to work from that point – also potentially disastrous. The book is meant to be goofy and so when I hit inconsistencies in the story, I let the main character ask the same question as the reader: ‘I thought you said…’ or ‘Wait a minute, didn’t …’ I don’t know. Perhaps I need to blog about that part of it too, it’s kind of fun to write this way, it makes it feel like a creative writing assignment where the goal is more about developing creative processes and mindset than about real good mechanics. Eventually, I will try to put it into a full book and at that point I will make a major series of revisions to the work as a whole to tie it together better and improve the work overall.

      Liked by 1 person

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