I am counting down the days until I leave for Florida....3!
I am so ready to have a vacation, but at the same time I have a deadline fast approaching. Corspe in the Crystal Ball is due May 1st....eeek!
So today's post is about balancing your personal life (family time) with your professional life (writing time / promotion) and meeting your dreaded deadlines.
In a word....ugh.
I used to love the days where I wrote what I wanted, when I wanted. But once you sell a book, you are no longer free to write at your leisure. You have a deadline. Your editor expects the book when the contract says it is due. And meeting multiple deadlines can be insane. Now, I know life gets in the way sometimes. And often times if you just talk to your editor, they will give you a couple weeks more. However, you don't want to get the reputation that you will always be late with your deadlines. It's unprofessional.
You also don't want to rush and turn something in early that's not ready yet. And then say, "Wait, read this one instead," and keep handing in new versions. That is also unprofessional. Even if I finish early, I tend to hold onto the manuscript until closer to my deadline, just in case I want to put it down for a while and give it a final read. You'd be amazed what you pick up on when you have some distance from a book.
So what I've come to do now is to create a schedule. I pull out my calendar and figure out exactly how many days I have until the book is due. Then I block out vacations, apts., school breaks, etc. I also only write Monday through Friday, taking the weekends off for family time. Once I know how many days I have to play with, I then figure out how many pages a day I have to write, leaving myself time for my cp to read it and for me to revise it.
Another good thing to know is how many pages an hour you can realistically write. I write 4 pages an hour when I'm on a roll. So I give myself 3 hours a day for writing time to make sure I can get 8 to 10 pages a day in. That leaves time for promotion, exercise, lunch, chores, etc. before my kids get home with evenings and weekends off to play Mom and wife. If I miss a day, I make up my pages on the weekend or in the evening. It's as simple as that.
When you break down your writing schedule, it really doesn't seem that difficult to finish a book in two months, leaving the third month for revising. Just be sure to stick to your schedule. It's only when you let other distractions take over, that you get way behind and finishing a book on time becomes overwhelming. I've been there, and trust me, it's not pretty. Not to mention your family will not be happy with you.
So tell me, how do you all stay on track? What is your writing process like? How long does it take you to finish a book? Do you make a schedule and stick to it?
Inquiring minds want to know :-)