The Blog of Author Robert K. Lewis

My 7000 Word Weekend Challenge. To Myself.

Today is Friday, November 6.

My current manuscript is not moving fast enough for me. I’m used to doing about 1500 words a day, six days a week. This one, well, this one’s been rough. I’m at 53K, started back in early September. I need to get it moving. Like when a football team goes to the no huddle to jump start an offense that’s playing flat.

So, my challenge to myself? By 8pm on November 8, I will have written 7000 words. That will get me to 60K. Can I do it? Yeah, I can. The story is there, I just need to write it.

And this got me thinking: the importance of self-imposed deadlines. I need them. I work best “under the gun”. I set a deadline for myself every first draft, based on the above mentioned 1500 words a day. This is the first time I’ve not met a writing deadline. First time ever. I don’t know what it is this time, however, I suspect it’s because this book is the most complex story I’ve ever attempted, and it’s been a bit on the intimidating side. Trying to keep all the threads weaving, etc. I think this challenge will be exactly what’s needed to get me rolling down the road to The End. It will build the momentum that’s so very necessary in a first draft, what keeps a writer writing to the final page.

Do any of you use self-imposed deadlines? I would say to you that the next time you feel the draft flagging, give yourself some sort of deadline. Like, 10K words in the next week, etc. See if it helps.

I’ll fill you in on Monday as to how good, or bad, I did. Oh, and that’s another reason for me putting this down on the blog: I’d be WAY too embarrassed to drag my tail in here on Monday and say I didn’t make it. Great. Now I’ve got performance anxiety on top of everything else.

See you in a couple of days.

7 responses

  1. I don’t use self imposed deadlines since I try to write every spare moment I get. Though with that said, I do a fair bit of procrastinating either on writer’s forums or on twitter.

    Maybe I should start setting goals. And then there’s always this… http://writeordie.drwicked.com/
    Mwa ha ha!

    11/06/2009 at 8:17 pm

  2. lol, that’s an awesome site.

    11/06/2009 at 10:16 pm

  3. Oh, good luck with this! I hope you make it. I knew there was no way I could do Nano in November this year. (I’m glad I didn’t try. My husband and kid had Swine flu the first week.) That said, I’m watching everyone’s progress and routing for you all! The Mistress of Masquerades at eveningshades.blogspot awarded you and I a Kreative Blogger award, so I wanted to come over and say hello. Great site!

    11/06/2009 at 11:44 pm

  4. Thank you, Victoria! 🙂

    11/06/2009 at 11:51 pm

  5. And thanks for the tip on Nat Whipple’s blog! Looks like fun.

    11/06/2009 at 11:54 pm

  6. I don’t usually use deadlines. My life is so jam-packed crazy most of the time, I get really excited when I have more than 30 minutes in a row for writing. Too much pressure with a deadline 🙂

    PS I feel like a dummy, but I hadn’t updated my link, and was wondering why you’d stopped blogging as often. I’m going to blame NaNo for my lack of brainpower. It’s probably not true, but I like the excuse 🙂

    I’ll cross my fingers for you to make this deadline – I’m sure you’ll make it!

    11/07/2009 at 9:15 pm

  7. Hey, use NANO as an excuse as much as you can! You’ve earned the right, imo. Glad to see you here! 🙂 And, thanks for the support. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll make this. Been working for awhile already today. It’s going well.

    11/07/2009 at 9:57 pm

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