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?