Deadlines: never enough rope


Deadlines are one of those things I really struggle with. I always set myself hopelessly optimistic deadlines, and I even build in wiggle-room but somehow it’s just never enough. The thing is, stuff happens.

For example, back in August, I set myself a two-month deadline to deliver my new book to Amazon for eBook release at the end of October, and on other platforms at the beginning of November. Then what did I do? Did I crack on and achieve my goal?

Well, yes and no. I sat and read a few books. I watched some TV. I went shopping. I posted pics of my cats on Facebook and some haiku on Twitter. Then I started to work on the last little revisions of the book, found a plot hole, plugged it, found another one, forgot about it, went shopping, got sick, family members had time off work and wanted to do stuff, found a mouse living in the dining room (courtesy of aforementioned cats), read a few more books…

Remembered plot hole three days before upload date! Argghhhh! And FINALLY got round to finishing off the book and uploading it 58 minutes before the cut-off time. After spending a year writing, editing, drafting, editing, revising, etc, it all nearly went wrong in the final hour. Did I mention I’m a pantser? Not that I generally thrive on adrenaline – quite the opposite.

So yes, I made the deadline. Just. But sometimes having a shorter deadline helps me – then I know there’s no time to procrastinate, and that actually helps. If you think you’ve got plenty of time, you actually do a lot less! So: note to self: next time either give myself an extra month, or reduce the two months by half. Or more.

By the way, there’s also now a mouse in the living room.