Monday, October 26, 2015

Death to (Most) Deadlines

Deadlines are a great tool for getting things done. But do they really help when they are picked at random? I've been talking for a few weeks about the writing calendar I put together for the end of the year. I had scheduled work for five different writing projects on it. I set firm deadlines for revising and even releasing some of the projects. But what did these deadlines mean when it came to the day it was to be something great and it just wasn't there yet?

Arbitrary deadlines don't help writing. I know that traditionally published authors probably have firm deadlines that can't be changed, but these people have a team backing them up. Indie authors don't always have that kind of support for each project (but kudos to the ones who do!). I know that my team of people I lean on is quite small, and they are not always available for every project. That just means I have to work harder to survive in the indie landscape. And that's why I'm declaring death to those deadlines I set. My five projects are not to the point where I would want them to be, and I'm not going to rush the process.

I did promise a novella written, revised and published by the end of October. That's not happening. I tried my best, but now I realized every project has it's own growth and development. Melody of Love was my success story--a novella written, revised and published within three weeks. Looking at that pace now, it seems crazy. For this followup novella, that pace just couldn't be kept. And since it is Halloween-themed, this novella won't see the light of day for another year. And that's totally okay.

I'm all for putting the pressure on to get a good product, but if a deadline doesn't feel right, don't force yourself to release something that just isn't ready. It won't help your writing career or the reputation of indie authors.

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