Adjusting goals and deadlines


Photo by flickr user Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures

I was always that student who wrote papers long before they were due, so it’s hard for me to write a post about pushing deadlines back. But I also feel like I may have queried my last two books too soon, and one of my goals for 2015 is not to rush to finish projects. I had big plans to finish revising a novel I wrote last fall and start querying by the end of March; but the more I work on revisions, the more I realize how much I have to do. There are MAJOR issues with this book, and I know I’m not going to sort them out in two months.

My gut is telling me to set this project aside and let my subconscious figure things out. Plus, while waiting for feedback from a CP, I started working on another novel — one that’s pouring from me much more easily, and which, frankly, I’m a lot more excited about right now. I don’t want to forget about that first project — I love the characters and premise, and I think it could be really good with the right changes. But I don’t want to frustrate myself trying to sort out those changes and not write the book that’s demanding to be written.

So, I’m officially working on two books now. My plan is to finish a first draft of the new book, then try to tackle the old one while I let that sit. Hopefully, I’ll be able to tackle revisions on the new project with more distance than I have other books, since I’ll have worked on something completely different in the interim. I write a lot, particularly when I’m drafting (I managed more than 40 hours over six days a couple weeks ago, plus my regular full-time job — who needs sleep?), but I doubt I’ll have anything ready to query at the end of March. I may *think* I have something, but I’m going to force myself to wait and really take the time to polish it.

On the downside, I’m putting off a deadline I set for myself, which feels like a failure. But on the plus side, I’ll now have two polished projects when all is said and done.

How do you handle deadlines when a project just isn’t working for you?


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