An amazing thing happened to me when I decided to become a pre-published author instead of an un-published author. Suddenly I had deadlines. Those crazy things that published authors are secretly proud to have, but all moan about, just so us newbies know what we are missing. Those things, they showed up in my life like small children tugging at my skirts. “Feed us.”
They pull and push. They yammer and yowl. Where did they come from? I don’t have an editor, agent or anyone demanding my work be finished on time. Where could these crazy demanding deadlines come from?
They came from me. When I decided to act like I was published my world changed. I became a person with a schedule and I set up goals for myself and along with those goals came the deadlines, wounded crafts in need of attention, tied to my hardworking goals tugboating along. Being the messed up over-achiever that I am, I set up many goals, big goals, demanding goals. So their deadlines were many and big and demanding.
Deadlines are necessary for anyone to achieve at a rapid pace. There is no way I would be here. When I look back six months ago I had no website, no blog, no business cards. No business calling myself an anything, let alone an author. But now I have multiple works in progress, several are “finished”, and I am getting my name out there. People know me. People I have never met and may never meet know me as an author. And I have the deadlines to thank.
If you set goals without deadlines your odds of achieving them shrivel to nothing. There is no reason to complete anything without those whiny children tugging at you, reminding you, needing you. You float out there in the someday realm, waiting for something to happen. Deadlines keep us on track, keep us focused. And when you hit them, you get the added bonus of not only moving further down your chosen path, but you also get the glow of success. You achieved a deadline. You are great! You are fantastic! You are the bomb!
So set those goals, but make sure you invite deadlines to the table, and stick to them. Okay, even if you don’t stick to them they can drive you forward, but if you don’t hit them you don’t get the bonus. You don’t get to do the happy dance and sing and say “I’m the bomb!”