January 15 on my calendar has the word “Deadlines” written in big bold letters. Plural because I have two things due on this day–a novella and the content edits of my novel Kiss the Cowboy that releases in June. Deadlines are awesome because it means that the books are under contract! Having a deadline right after the holidays has proven to be a little challenging with busy schedules and a long to-do list.
But I’ve learned that a few strategies have been able to keep me on track to turn the manuscripts in on time.
1. Leaning on my husband for support – My husband is amazing. When I need him to pick up the slack by entertaining the kids or helping around the house more, he jumps right in. He doesn’t even complain when I don’t have time to go to the grocery store or he runs out of clean underwear. He just fills in everywhere I’m falling behind. I’m definitely blessed in the supportive spouse category.
2. Writing every day – For me it’s important to keep momentum going. I try to work on my writing every single day. I worked on my books on Christmas day after the kids went to bed. With a full-time job, a 10-month-old, and a six-year-old, I don’t have big chunks of time to get my writing done, so I have to make sure not to waste the time I have set aside, which is currently after my six-year-old goes to bed.
3. Taking baby steps – If I step back and think of everything I need to do before I turn the books in, I can get overwhelmed. I try to stay focus on one chapter, one scene, one line at a time. If I’m consistent and keep moving forward, I can get it all done.
4. Remembering why I write – Sometimes in the midst of an approaching deadline, I can forget why I do this in the first place. I have a passion for writing. I love giving readers an uplifting story about love and faith. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.
How do you handle deadlines (writing or any kind of deadline in life)? Do you thrive on them or dislike the pressure?