I have no deadlines.

As an independently publishing author I have no deadlines. There’s no publisher chasing me for a next draft, no agent asking for publicity information and no printer needed approved proofs send back. Decisions on timing are all mine, work is ready when it’s ready and I’ll upload it to Kindle when I’m happy with what I’ve done. 

Of course that means I am a master of procrastination. If I’m not in the mood to write or if there’s something more important to do and when isn’t there, I can spend hours, days even, not putting down a single usable word. This is not useful, and as my wife and bank statement keep telling me, it’s not revenue generating either. 

John Lennon got it right when he said “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Although he wasn’t the first to say it and the quote can be traced several decades further back than his Beautiful Boy song of 1980.

While I am having ideas for plots, thinking about characters and their relationships, actions and sometimes gruesome deaths (but not too gruesome as I have to get people to read this stuff) I also hold down a day job, have a loving family to maintain and need to spend time with my confidante and close friend, Clement. All this and blogging too – how will I manage.

The answer of course is time management and if I can manage to get out of bed in time to do some writing each day that would be a great help. Secondly a few self imposed deadlines which if I stick to will bring me a reward. Two hundred words, good ones that make sense in their context and content = coffee and a biscuit. Write my blog and post it, I can role around on the floor with Clement. A good chunk of editing is worth a couple of hours sailing in my dinghy and when I finally finish the book I’m going have a weekend away with my wife.

Small bites, that’s how you eat an elephant after all, and if I can take a few small bites each day then there will be less procrastination and more productivity, I’ll be happy, my family will see more of me and my bank manager will stop calling me in for increasing less social chats.