Deadlines, The Better to Write With

“I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed. And I gotta tell ya… it feels phenomenal.” Vince Vaughn, Wedding Crashers

I love Vince Vaughn and I love this quote from the Wedding Crashers. Unfortunately, in life if you don’t make goals you can become stagnant just like his character, who was facing bankruptcy and the loss of his business.

Goals and deadlines are great motivators. This past month I put myself on a personal deadline to rewrite a short story for one of my publishers. And when I say rewrite, I mean REWRITE. The story needed a total ovehaul which included changing the entire plot, establishing the heroes external and internal motivation AND making my heroine more likable.

So after returning from Romance Slam Jam last month, I set myself down in front of my computer and didn’t move. Well, not literally. I had to go to work and take time off for social activities and a spontaneous trip to beautiful Palm Beach, FL, but you get my drift.

And get this the personal deadline worked! I started on Monday, May 2 and I finished the completed manuscript on Tuesday May 24. I’m one week early. I know many of you reading this may say, what’s the big whoop? You have several books published so this should be a piece of cake.

But that’s easy for you to say if you’re neither a procrastinator or self-diagnosed with ADD. And don’t get me started on the fact that I can agonize for hours on a single paragraph and that it sometimes takes me weeks, yes weeks, to edit a story.

Not only did I complete my manuscript ahead of schedule, but I think I put my foot in it. None of the stuff I wrote is garbage and the editing was pretty minimal. Deadlines, especially personal ones are great, in that the results can can always be measured, they help you to make the most of your time and gets the job done sooner rather than never.

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