03 August

Writer Deadlines - Contracts with Yourself...


The clock. It's ticking. You hear it. And with each successive tick, the sound resonates, reverberates, and ripples out louder, and louder, until each tick becomes a sonorous bong.

In your mind, the end time, that deadline — your literal writing career — well, it might as well be strapped to a bomb. You know you have to make it, or break it, as a writer.

Yes, that's right, peeps. Writing deadlines,

  • need to exist, be penned into reality, and
  • need to be seriously felt in order for you to take finishing your book to its literal end.

Simply put: if you don't have a deadline, you won't have a book.

Hobby In = Hobby Out // % of Effort Expended = % of Result Received

Law of the Successful Writer: If you don't take your writing dead seriously, who else will?

The To-Do:You work backwards to establish the amount of work you need to complete each week, each day, in order to complete your book. It's simple math.

I'll give you an example: I, myself, need to complete 3 books this year in the new genre series I'm creating. I've taken the total number of words/book and the 4 out of 7 days in the week I plan on writing on that series, and through simple math determined in those 4 writing sessions I need to pound out a 550 minimum to 1000 maximum word count per session.

Knowing this, now I can schedule all my other writing/editing/social media work I must get done in a week, and I plan out each work day to the hour (based on my # of hours/day), so that everyday I hit my office, I know exactly what I need to accomplish.

What this Writing Schedule does for Me:  

  • eliminates the guess work out of each work day
  • lowers my ruminating on what I should do to successfully complete each work day, which
  • lowers my stress level, which
  • ups my energy I can use to write my books.
A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy.

Does this schedule allow for life's unexpected? In a way, yes, as on those sessions I plunk down closer to 1000 words on that genre series, I am piling up bonus sessions, of sorts, so if my life takes me away from my keyboard, my word accumulation isn't suffering.

Is this a perfect system? No, of course, not. But it is a workable system, which allows me to know what I'm to work on next. Without an actual daily plan, all writers have are untethered hopes that things, our writing work, will get done, and that amounts to unfinished books.

HOMEWORK: I need you to:

  • figure out the total word count needed to finish your book draft.
  • establish the # of sessions you can actually attend per week. Be realistic. Know your limits.
  • divide those total words by those # of sessions to get your per session word count.
  • estimate, by past sessions, the # of minutes/hours it will take you to write that word count.
  • proceed to fill out your weekly writing schedule where those sessions are penned in.

And, most importantly, take these daily deadlines as written in blood, as contracts with yourself that can never be broken, barring emergencies or health issues. And hear that ticking deadline clock as those mighty bongs resonate out, your writer career, strapped to those deadlines, that will surely blow to smithereens if those deadlines are not met.

Success, achievement, results made as planned. It's as simple as that.

Are you ready to sign your contract? Get your blood pen out. It's GO time.


PLEASE NOTE: Stop Not Writing... Now will post weekly, on Tuesdays, for the foreseeable future, so that I might meet my writing goals, as well. We are all in this together. Let's get writing.

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