Deadline Dame

I’ll say this: I picked an excellent weekend to disspell my ennui.

When I went to bed last Thursday, I had to wonder if I’d actually be able to make it through the weekend without opening one of my various works in progress and try to force out some words. Then I get to work Friday morning, only to be greeted by an email from the BF.

Turns out our fridge was hours away from a death rattle.

So instead of indulging in a little extra reading time Friday evening, I spent it frantically calling Lowe’s to see if they had the fridge we wanted in stock and if they could deliver it the next day.

Here’s a handy homeowner tip: even if a store says they have delivery seven days a week, they may not have a delivery slot available for you. However, refrigeration counts as an emergency, meaning if you tell them your fridge is dead, they’ll make time to deliver your sparkly, shiny new Whirlpool side-by-side. And we didn’t even lose that much food.

I spent the rest of the weekend cleaning, watching the Seahawks remind people why they won the Superbowl last year, and reading (if you haven’t read Christina Lauren’s Dirty Rowdy Thing, I must insist that you do so now).

The whole point of that is to tell you I’m not entirely sure the weekend did much to brush away the feelings of boredom that were dodging my heels. Strangely, though, it did highlight a different point entirely, and I’m not sure how this happened, but it did, so I’m going with it.

I’m talking about deadlines.

One of the great things about a one-book contract means that once that contract is fulfilled, I don’t have to worry about the next project. I’m free to work on whatever strikes my fancy. I’ve taken full advantage of that, switching from the Game of Shadows trilogy to Run to Perfect Chemistry. All good things must come to an end, though, when I realized that in order to follow through on my promise of pre-order links for Fracture, I’d need to set a release date.

It didn’t used to be that self-published authors had the option of doing pre-orders. Many still don’t simply because of how they write. Draft2Digital will allow you to set pre-orders for Barnes & Noble, and Amazon’s policy is that you can do it as long as you upload a close to final draft and you upload the actual final days at least ten days before release date.

Let me tell you, release dates make fantastic motivators. Now that I have one, I have to plow through edits, get it to my copy editor, and then go through another round of edits so I can get it to reviewers about a month before the release date. Tight turn around time, and it means I don’t get to dilly-dally.

It forced me to think about how I was going to line up my work. That goal of finishing Blink by my next birthday? Might not happen. My number one priority is the edits on Fracture, then Hidden Scars. Once I’ve finished those, I have to start on Broken Open, the next book in the series, if I have any hope of releasing it next April.

And this is just what I’ve got planned for myself.

While I haven’t shied away from personal deadlines in the past, I have given the side-eye to setting a schedule for what projects I’m going to work on next. This ain’t gonna fly no more. I might not be under contract, but I do have promises to keep, even if some of them are only to myself at this point. So while I would love to push off the Hidden Scars edits even longer, I can’t. That plot bunny for a new urban fantasy story will have to hop along until I’ve met my other obligations.

That’s a whole ‘nother topic, urban fantasy. Mayhap I’ll discuss this in a post next week. Anyway.

Do you deadline? Do you not deadline? If you don’t, what keeps you in front of the keys?



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