Monday, November 15, 2010

Back-to-Business Monday: DEADLINES & TIMELINES

Can it possibly be just ten days until Thanksgiving?  Where did November go (not to mention October, September, and summer)?  For those of you in the midst of NaNoWriMo this year, I'm sure the time feels like it's flying even faster.  For me, I am certain it will be minutes until I blink and we're in 2011--the big year--the year my first novel will hit the shelves.  Every time I think of all there is to do before next fall, I get a little queasy.  Okay, a LOT queasy.

For decades I struggled as a writer-on-the-side, in an endless search for the time to write manuscripts and (ultimately) the courage to submit my work for publication.  Still, the timeframes were always mine to set, the deadlines internally imposed.  Now I find myself in a new place with the pressure of writing, editing, promoting, blogging, Tweeting (argh--just kind of trying this now but if you're curious, I'm @swkehoe) on deadlines coming more from the "outside world" of publishing.

Here's some good advice I've gotten from writer friends: MAKE YOURSELF A TIMELINE to help you set priorities and stay focused.  Here's mine:

NOVEMBER 24: Cook a turkey

DECEMBER 24: Get kids' presents under tree

JAUARY 1: Revisions on new ms (so close...just not THERE yet)
FEBRUARY 1: Run my long-in-the-works blog contest in which I'll write a free reading guide for the author/illustrator winner's book of choice (this one is for published/soon-to-be published writers)

MARCH 1: Have website live

I've mixed a bit of real life with the writer life stuff.  I'm also forcing myself to NOT write a word on this great new book idea I've had until AFTER the website is live.  And, I've decided that I want to run the blog contest even though there might be a bit of a time crunch.

"Sometimes it helps to just write things down," said the writer :)

What does your timeline look like?


Kjersten said...

We are rooting for you, Stasia!

Jennifer Wolf said...

I'm with you on the rush of summer, September, October etc. Yikes! Right now I'm writing fast and furiously on a new WIP (not nanwrimo, just my own deadlines) until I get marching orders from my editor. Did I tell you my ms sold to Walker? SQEEEE! I'm excited and afraid of what it will be like to face editor-imposed deadlines. Watching you for insight. As one busy writer mom to another--good luck, Keep moving forward, and no your children will not all end up being drug dealers. (Oh, and I have a fabulous picture of sweet and sour chicken, burned to the bottom of the pan that I've been meaning to share with you.)

Stasia said...

Thanks, Kjersten & Jennifer (and HURRAH, Jennifer, on your ms sale -- when's the book coming out?). I'm thinking of having a special Blogger Burnt Food event later this fall. I'll definitely let you know in case you want to share your sad culinary tales! - Stasia