Mastering the Art of Deadlines: Transform Your Fear into Inspiration

As for inspiration, I find the stark fear of missing a deadline very inspiring.

Elizabeth Hoyt

The pressure to meet a deadline can be a powerful source of inspiration, motivation and encouragement.

I set deadlines for every aspect of writing a book.

The first is my first draft deadline.  This is the most important, because if I fail here, everything else is delayed (at best) or derailed (at worst).

Manuscript Math is my tool for determining this deadline and it’s based on three data points, all of which are in my control.

  • 1. How many words I write per hour
  • 2. How many hours I commit to write each day
  • 3. My target manuscript length.

Once I know how many days of writing I require to complete my first draft, I set my start date and schedule my first draft completion date on my calendar.

What gets scheduled gets done.

Then I schedule daily writing sessions for the amount of time I used in my Manuscript Math calculation.

This structured writing schedule, this routine or habit, with its daily consistency and mini-deadlines, guarantee I'll meet my first draft deadline. Share on X

They guarantee I’ll keep my commitment to myself. This is important, because it’s far too easy to bail on commitments to myself.

Being consistent is key.

Self-discipline is key.

Holding myself accountable for meeting (or failing to meet) my deadlines is key.

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