Jeanne: Deadlines and Schedules and Dates, Oh My!

Pocket WatchA couple of weeks ago, I was still happily piddling around with Girls’ Best Friend, the contemporary romance I’ve been working on for a couple of years. Then, one morning, I suddenly realized that if I want to release The Demon’s in the Details, Book 2 of my Touched by a Demon series, on October 1st, I was in trouble.

Let’s work backward through the schedule.

October 1: Make the book live on Amazon.

Last week of September: Load the book onto Amazon. Set up any ads I’d like to create to promote the book.

First three weeks of September: Have the book proofread and formatted.

August: Have the book copy-edited and work through the copy-editor’s recommended changes. (My first book had literally thousands of recommended changes, so I need a couple of weeks after I get the book back before I can pass it on to the proofreader.)

Are you feeling panicky yet? Well, I am.

That leaves me with seven weeks to do the revisions recommended by my developmental editor. That should should have been enough time, but unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’re not looking at it from a schedule perspective), one of those weeks I’ll be in Denver for the RWA National Conference.

What I really have is about 40 days to complete my revisions. I calculate that if I manage ten pages of revisions every day, seven days a week, I’ll have a handful of days leftover to review the whole book before send it on to the copy editor.

And once its winging its way to the copy editor, I need to immediately buckle down and finish Book 3, The Demon Wore Stilettos, so that I can release it in the first quarter of next year, before my readers have had time to forget I exist.

This is the first time I’ve ever had deadlines to meet for my writing, other than getting small chunks ready for contests.

I don’t like it.

One of the reasons I decided to go indie was that I know I don’t write fast enough to keep a traditional publishing house happy.

Now it appears I don’t write fast enough to keep myself happy, either.

 

 

14 thoughts on “Jeanne: Deadlines and Schedules and Dates, Oh My!

  1. All the hugs for you! I am panicking about my November novella followed by a January novel release. I am also juggling way too many projects while knowing I must get my eye on that one ball and get this series under control and launched. I think you have a much better handle on your plan!

    • What this doesn’t talk about are the parallel efforts I need to make to launch the first book, The Demon Always Wins, in September. I’m thinking really hard about pushing the release date for this one out to November (or even January–people have gift cards to redeem in January!).

      Argh!

  2. *hugs* from me, too! But listen, don’t borrow panic! Do those 10 pages a day (and a couple of bonus pages if you have the energy), and then panic at the 30 day mark if you still feel the need to do so. Panicking before is just wasting energy that you could apply to editing.

    • At some point, I became convinced that the adrenaline from panic assists in resisting procrastination. Although it doesn’t seem to be working, since I should be revising right now and I’m playing on our blog instead.

      • It could be true that adrenaline helps keep one on track. But . . . I’m so done with adrenaline stress. I haven’t gotten enough done, and I’m totally exhausted from the worrying. (-: And I have a bad habit of borrowing other people’s panic! It used to help . . . . Glad it still works for you, at least sometimes!

      • Jeanne, have you ever tried sprinting? I do it for just about anything — editing, writing, whatever…I’m sure you could do it for marketing efforts, too. I love it because I get focus time, but then “permission” to play around for 10-15 mins after my sprint. It might be worth it, if for no other reason than to set limits and encourage focus.

        • I’ve tried sprints for writing and it doesn’t work well for me, but maybe I should learn more about what you’re describing. It sounds like you ultra-focus for some period of time, then play for 10 or 15 minutes?

        • That’s basically what I do when I sprint. Turn off the internet. Close down mail and put my phone away. Focus for 20-30 minutes (or however long I’m sprinting) and when the time is up, I can do whatever. But I set a timer for that, too, otherwise I’ll play for too long. I’ve had some sprints where I’ve written 300 words and other where I’ve written 1,200…just depends on how well the story is flowing, but 300 (or 1,200) words is better than nothing. When I’m editing, I try to get through a few pages. But regardless of the goal, I will focus on writing for that time.

        • I don’t generally have problems with focus, possibly from working 30+ years as a programmer where you crank out code 8 hours a day. I have more issues with keeping my calendar cleared so I have time to write. And I can see where the promotional aspects of the business, once I start publishing, will become a time-suck.

  3. I am trying to figure out when I could release my first book. I was hoping by the end of the year, but now I’m not so sure. The cover is nearly done. I’m in the final stages of that. But I have a bunch of other stuff to do (like, um, finish writing the book?). Because of my short attention span (ADD…call it whatever you want), I need to be doing “new” things (covers, ISBNs, figuring out how copyright works, etc.) at the same time that I’m working on the “old” stuff (like the book). Otherwise, I get too bored and lose momentum.

    I wish I still had Microsoft Project. I loved that software…it’s not the same creating a Gantt chart in Excel (which I tried — and failed to make work how I wanted it to). But it was great for setting/tracking deadlines and I loved the precision of it. OF course, the hard part is making sure you finished everything by the deadlines, but it was easy to set working days/hours and have the project fill in the blanks around that. I should check out if there’s another similar, cheaper tool for that. I’m open to suggestions.

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