Friday, April 24, 2015

Polished to Published: Better Late than Someday

I have no concept of time.Seriously. If you ask me how long it takes to get somewhere in my county the answer will always be 30 minutes. Don’t ask where this number came from, but it’s ingrained into my mind. 
What time is it?
Thankfully I don’t have to relay on my internal clock for things like dropping off my kids at school or making it to a doctors appointment. The GPS on my car, maps on the internet and my phone all give me rough estimate of travel. This external information helps me to stay on track and not arrive too late or early for everything. Notice how I didn’t say anything. I’m still a terrible judge of time. I have yet to find an app or device that can accurately calculate how long it’ll take me to get from my house and into the car. 

When I am working on a novel or other project I can have the same detachment from time. One of the ways to keep me on track is to have external reminders with it as well. I don’t google how long it should take me to finish a novel. I’m fairly certain that answer would only lead to tears. “They finished that whole book in how many months!?!”

Instead I set up self imposed deadlines. Some people get tense when they hear of setting up a rule like that. After all writing is creative and organic and covered in sparkly dreams.  There are some that worry it will hamper their creativity or stress them out.

First off, we are artists. I don’t lowness about you, but I never lived in “the box”. That one that corporate executives are constantly trying to get their employees to think outside of. Rather than conform, sometimes I think it’s important for me the think inside ‘the box’. This means setting up some sort of framework and deadline for my projects. 

Second, it’s only stressful if the goal are too strict or confining. When I say that I’m going to reach a certain page number at the end of the week, it’s based on how much I write on average. Then I take that number and minus one or two days of productivity, because life happens.

This sort of "deadline" isn't going to do you any favors.

Attainable goals are always more fun than the seemingly endless or unreachable ones anyway. Do you set up deadlines for your work? How do you figure out due dates? I’d ask more questions, but it looks like I’m already running late. 

Have a fabulous weekend and remember that you own your days. Use them well.

-Deborah Moore

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