Want to Finally Write That Book? Set Yourself a Deadline

Deadline. It’s not a nice word, is it? I mean it has the word “dead” in it. If that’s not an implication of finality of I don’t know what is, so setting one for yourself may seem like a masochistic thing to do. But done properly it could be just what you need to get you to write (or finish) your long-gestating book.

It gets you writing

A deadline can drag your butt to the chair when you’d prefer to spend a bit longer in bed or chill in front of the TV. It can make you write, even a little, every day.

It also gets you to stop

My name’s Wordlander and I have an editing problem. If you too have difficulty knowing when to stop, a deadline is your line in the sand. Without it you’re likely to keep tweaking and tweaking your work into infinity. If you don’t want to do anything with your book this isn’t an issue. But if you want to approach agents, publishers, or self-publish you need to, at some point, finish!

It shows people you’re serious

Setting a deadline is one way to treat your writing like work and not just a hobby. There’s nothing wrong with it being a hobby of course, but again if you want to publish or enter competitions, then it helps to treat your writing more seriously.

It builds your confidence

And it can help your confidence and others respect for your work, if you treat it more as a job and not a hobby.

And you can set as many as you need

An overall deadline provides you with your ultimate goal but you can of course set as many as you want. So you could have one for finishing your outline, for getting your first draft done and so on.

To finish it’s worth noting that deadlines can get good results but these depend largely upon your personality. Some people thrive, others become paralysed by the fear of a closed endpoint. So if they’re really not for you, don’t put yourself under that pressure.

Do you like to set yourself deadlines or do you run away from them screaming? Let me know in the comments?

Related reads

Reach Your Writing Goals with a Schedule

6 Ways to Get Inspired

8 Self-Care Tips for Writers

13 thoughts on “Want to Finally Write That Book? Set Yourself a Deadline

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  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.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Wordland
  3. First book kind of had a deadline, from the publisher. IIRC, I beat it by a mile.

    Current book, no deadlines and it’s chugging along after some fits & starts getting started. First draft’s done this week. Then comes editing & adding secondary source info.

    Liked by 1 person

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