Under Deadline


After a crazier summer and even crazier fall, I decided it was finally time.

Once the last of the 2016 Breathe Conference was buttoned up and packed away, I set my sights on a quieter form of hustling. It was time to finish the novel.

In case you didn’t know, I have been working for seven years on the same novel. I love this story and it is that love that has sustained that seven years, but it’s time. I’m ready to wrap it up, to bring these characters the ending that they’ve been meant to have.

Seven years. It is time for a year of jubilee.

So I set a goal for myself: complete the first draft by December 24. That was the date I was struck with the idea seven years ago and that is the date I want to bring this ship back into harbor. (That’s funny because it’s a pirate novel. (Yes, I am writing a pirate novel.))

To help hold me to my goal, I decided I needed some skin in the game.

If I don’t meet my Christmas Eve goal, I owe two of my close writing friends $25 bucks a pop. During the Christmas season. It’s not going to leave me destitute, but that will hurt a little.

I’ve also been telling people about my goal if they ask about my writing. The more people that know, the more people I have to answer to if I don’t make it. Or the more people I have to celebrate with when I do.

This is a take-no-prisoners time in my writing. And it’s not easy. Some of the stuff I’m cranking out isn’t great. But I’m learning to push through, taking notes on what to change in the second draft, resisting editing in the current stage. The work may not be strong now, but at least it’s there.

This has been my mindset. I’m starting to see it pay off, but I’m still concerned I may not reach my goal.

At this stage in the game, I am so grateful for a community to hold me accountable and boundaries to help guide my output.

What are you putting in place to help you reach your writing goals?

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