Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Professional = Deadlines

The Giant of Tidesmouth won't be out on time. "On time" was supposed to be by the end of the month, and the story itself may well be finished by then, but in a completely unedited state. Unlike Three Fingers of Death, which required fairly little editing, I suspect Giant is going to need a heavy hand on the cleaver.

Not that I suspect anyone is waiting for the next Wandering Tale story with baited breath. Nobody will notice if it doesn't arrive on time or get on my case about it. The fact is, the only one setting these deadlines is myself. I'm trying to work my way into the life of a professional fiction writer, and I damn well know that it will help to act the part even before I'm there. Thus, the deadlines, and the desire to hold myself to them.

It's funny - the first time I decided to write something seriously was due to my hatred of deadlines. I wrote a story when I was in second grade, for school, but it was due before I could make it really good (to my seven-year-old mind). I tried again in third grade, and it got a lot longer. Then I had an epiphany: Why bother writing it for school?

I worked on the 'full version' of that story for years. Until I was twelve or thirteen, I think. I abandoned it after realizing that I'd come up with the plot when I was eight, and it was just as derivative and self-insertion heavy as you could imagine. Still, it was a beginning. All without a deadline.

Of course, the reason I was writing it for years without any end in sight is partially because there was no deadline. No deadline means no pressure, and no pressure means it will likely never get done. I will endlessly tinker with a story long after the point when it should have been done, even if I finished the first version ages ago. "Stories are never finished - only abandoned," as the saying goes.

I also know that even a self-published professional author needs to be producing new things if he wants to stay a professional author, and so I thought it a good idea to get into the habit of writing on a deadline more. Sadly, the fact is that because it brings me scant little income (so far...) writing has to be one of the first things that gets pushed aside when other responsibilities await. These last couple of months have been thick with them.

I promise myself, though - or rather, threaten myself - that come summer, I will be keeping to my deadlines. Or else I won't get any dessert.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished The Three Fingers of Death and wanted to let you know I found it a well written novella. I am looking forward to the next in the series. I have just 1 question do you know how many books will be in the series? Please email me at and let me know.