By JL Simpson
Last year I decided to take on a new role. Not only was I going to be the author of my Daisy Dunlop mystery series, but I was also going to be the publisher. Gone were the days of typing ‘the end’ and then sending it off to someone else to do all the other stuff. Now I needed to sort out an editor, a cover artist, learn to format the finished masterpiece, set up accounts with Ebook retailers and finally to upload and publish the books. The feeling of power when you’re master of your own destiny is amazing. I can give books away, change the price, advertise where I want, and do my own thing with the plots, provided the readers still enjoy the story.
This was all positive stuff. I love power, it’s a heady drug. But with the positive comes a couple of negatives. The first, if my books fail I only have myself to blame, and the biggest negative of all, no one is cracking the whip. I don’t have anyone to set deadlines for me, and that can be a real problem.
From my experience people fall into two categories, those who are self-motivated and normal people. Self-motivated people are the ones who set their own goals and meet them. You seem them out running as the sun’s rising. Meanwhile, normal people are flailing an arm out from under the bed covers in a desperate bid to hit the off switch on the alarm clock whilst mumbling “coffee” into the pillow, hoping their spouse will rise to the challenge and get the much needed caffeine fix they require to jump start their brain.
Self motivated people nibble on a salad, whilst normal people inhale doughnuts swearing they’ll get back to dieting next week. Self motivated people stride down the confectionery aisle at the grocery store without so much as a sideways glance, because chocolate is not on the list. Self motivated people have organised desks, tidy houses, color co-ordinated wardrobes, their whole lives are planned, and everything runs like clockwork. They don’t forget to pay a bill, or realize they are out of milk after the stores are shut for the day. They’re not the ones running around the shopping mall on Christmas Eve looking for gifts.
If you want to be an Indie Author then you need to keep working. I’ve just read a book called, “Write, Publish, Repeat” and it’s brilliant. It says the way to success is to keep getting books out there. The more books you publish the easier it is for readers to find you. So you might think, seeing as I have only two books to my name, I’d be writing up a storm, but you’d be wrong.
I have the curse of being a normal person. My desk is cluttered, as is my mind. My house is clean but untidy, my color co-ordination is hit and miss. I forget my glasses. I lose my keys. I even forgot my son when he was a new born and left him parked at the meat counter in the supermarket until the girl at the checkout asked when my baby was due.
My day job is deadline driven. As a tax accountant their are lodgement dates that need to be adhered to. Miss one of those and the tax office let you know about it. At work I’m organised and regimented because big brother is watching. With my writing no one is watching. I used to write to publisher’s deadlines. I used to have a critique partner who read along one chapter at a time telling me to hurry up and write the next, but her career took off and I was lost in the madness of it all. Now it’s all down to me. Time marches on. Days, weeks, months fly by with little progress.
I may never stick to my diet, wear clothes that go together, tidy up my desk, empty my inbox, remember my sister’s birthday, but if I ever want to make something more than an on-again off-again hobby of writing I simply have to get a grip. And the best way to do that is set a deadline. I know that if I’m ever going to focus and finish book 3 in my Daisy Dunlop Series I need to set a publication date and book an editor. Maybe I should set a date for just before Christmas, but that still leaves the question, ‘which Christmas?’
Where mystery and mayhem collide.
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10 thoughts on “Dying for a Deadline”
Nice to see I’m not the only procrastinator in the writing biz (but I do have a tidy desk). I’m low on motivation to finish my next book. Too many distractions this year. Here’s a way to get us going–we’ll have a race to see which one of us finishes her book first!
Procrastinators of the world unite 🙂 I hear you, Sally. Unfortunately I have a horrible feeling that is a race you would win.
I agree, you have to be self-motivated to be a self-pub author. This was a fun post! That’s something we could keep track of on this blog. Words, projects, goals if you want.
Thanks, Paty. I would love someone who would keep me on track. An email once a week telling me to “get a grip woman” would do wonders for my word count. 🙂
This made me laugh. I look forward to the next Daisy book.
Thanks, Amber. I’m looking forward to it too! 🙂
Thanks for this post, it made me smile! I definitely do not get up to go running in the morning. And walk very very slowly through any pastry aisle. But I recently mentioned to a friend that I was working on a deadline. She asked why, since I set my own deadlines. I explained that to me, those are the most important ones. If I set it, I respect it and I’ll meet it. So I guess that puts me somewhere in the middle as well. Or maybe it’s just a question of how much I care …
Thanks for the comment, Jane. Gees I guess that’s something else to add to my list of failings, no self respect LOL
This one made me laugh. I am kind of half and half, depending upon the time of day. Mornings I do great–but come afternoon, I’m winding down. Good post!
In the mornings I think I will do great but by lunchtime I know it was just a dream. Glad I made you laugh, Marilynn, my work here is done!
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