6th June 2015.

Not a wedding, not a birthday, not an anniversary, but the date I’m aiming to finish the book by.

[Insert hysterical laughter here]

I’m not sure I’ll make it. If I do finish the complete first draft book, I’ll still need to second draft the final third. And then I’ll need to third draft the whole thing. And then there’s Beta readers…

So why pick this date? Well, it’s the closing date for The Novella Competition 2015.  I’m ashamed to say that up until a couple of weeks ago I’d never heard of this competition which is why I’d not been aiming for it before this. My writing experience is that competitions can be for short stories, poems, plays, novels; anything but novellas. It was a happy accident that a friend highlighted it for me on Facebook.

Having a date to aim for can be beneficial. I’ve already written about my aim to write every day and this date helps to spur that on. But a part of me thinks this is just a fairy-tale and that I’m not going to be able to finish in time.  I’m a perfectionist.  How could I part with my work  when I haven’t had the chance to review it properly? I could wait until next year, but by the time it swings round again, I’ll probably have self published and be ineligible to enter. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Deadlines can get good results – but these results depend largely upon your personality. Some people thrive, others paralysed by the fear of a closed end point.

At work, I often work to tight turnarounds but the work relies far less on my imagination and besides, I have a team to help ease the load. With my writing it’s all on me and my brain. I get the ideas, I don’t write it, it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t get finished.

Anyone out there interested in The Novella Competition?  Do you like to set yourself deadlines or do you run away from them screaming?

4 thoughts on “Save the Date – Are Deadlines a Good or Bad Thing?

  1. I set deadlines. I miss them. I feel like a failure. I usually wind up a month late, but I still continue to set deadlines. I’ve started doing yearly goals. Reedit/resubmit this short story. Reedit this novel. Even those can be dicey though.

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