Monday 26 October 2020

Spoonie Writer: Keeping On Deadlines



I've spoken before about how deadlines are hard for most writers, but especially so for those of us who are also spoonies. One of the reasons I stuck on the indie path for publishing was that the majority of my deadlines would be ones I've set for myself and could therefore change. It's not always the case, when I have other people working for me, editors and the like, I can't miss those deadlines. And while it adds to my stress levels, it's also a small thing for me. My editors are all people I really like and get on well with, so they get when things are just not going to happen, and the same is true for me with them.

That said, there are times when you can't miss a deadline, and while I'm a spoonie writer who's on the indie path, I know there are other spoonie writers who will go the traditional route, and will have deadlines that they have no control over. This piece isn't just for them, some of these tips and such have worked for me when it comes to meeting those editing deadline, along with the ones that can't be moved because of other restrictions on me.

So how do I cope with deadlines? How do I plan my time? You all know that I am an extensive planner when it comes to my to-do list, but part of that plays into how I cope with deadlines when I'm already struggling with my health. I'm going to give you some of my tips, and hope that they can help you too.

This is true for anyone planning, but especially true for spoonies. We are going to have good days when we get everything on our to-do list done, and we are going to have bad days when nothing seems to be going right, and we're just physically, mentally unable to do the work needed. So if you plan to have days off, days when you won't work, then you can move those days around as needed. It means that if a flare hits on a day that's not planned as a day off, you take the day off, have it then, and start work when you're able, either the following day or when you're next able.

This is a tip that really kinda only applies to indie authors, but it can apply to traditional depending on your circumstances. As I said above, I have the choice to where I put my deadlines. If it's revising, then I have the choice to make it this month or that. I know what I'm capable of doing in a month, so I know that if I set myself the whole draft to be done in a week, it's just not going to happen, and if I attempt to do it, I will burn out, or flare, and that's just gonna bite me in the backside.

So if you know that you can only manage a certain amount of work in one day, then make sure you don't go above that, make sure you set your schedule for the minimum you can manage, not the max, because even if it's not a day that you physically or mentally can't work, it might be a day that isn't you at your best, and pushing yourself is only going to make you feel worse.

This is more of a tip for traditional authors, though indies will have this too. If you're struggling to meet your deadline, talk to your agent, they should be able to help. If you're indie and you have a deadline for an editor, talk to them, explain the situation. They might have to move you back, but it's also not worth making yourself horribly ill because of it. You are human, you need breaks, you need rest, and that's okay.


By middle days I simply mean those days when you're not unable to work, but you're also not at your best. Small tasks, like writing a blog post, or recording a video, or making an instagram story. Little admin tasks that will feel productive, but also won't push you to the brink. If you need to write, then start with a lower word count/page count/whatever to make sure that you are gentle with yourself and don't push through to a flare the next day.

Deadlines aren't easy for the majority of people, there's so much that goes into writing, marketing and publishing a book that you're going to find that there are days when you just can't, and you need a break. Reach out to friends, have some down time, reward yourself when you hit milestones, and accept that you are human and it's okay if things get too hard or you miss a deadline. You are more important than that, and you need to be gentle with yourself both physically and mentally.#

Do you have any tips for helping with deadlines? If you do, lemme know in the comments!

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