Why You Must Set Your Own Deadline

One of the many perks of being a fictional writer is writing what you want, when you want. When you don’t have a publishing contract (yet), or anyone waiting to read your book, there are no expectations.

This gives you the means to go at your own pace and take as long as you like to craft your masterpiece. The downside is that you can take as long as you like to craft your masterpiece.

Without the obligation of a deadline (contractually or self-imposed), it’s very easy to just keep writing and allow it to take as long as it takes. It’s freeing, and another one of those writing perks. It’s also the fastest way to drag things out.

If you’re familiar with my blog or Instagram account, you’ll know that I’m currently working on the fourth draft of the final book in my YA supernatural series.

I started this final book in January this year, and wrote the first draft in only six weeks. Do you know when I started the first book in the series? 2001. That’s sixteen years that I’ve been working on this series as a whole, and that doesn’t account for the fact I thought of the idea in 2000, and spent a year thinking about it before writing anything down.

Now, I didn’t spend sixteen whole years working on the first three books, there was six years where I did no work at all, and those first few drafts written in the ’00s have little in common with the final drafts of today. In fact, it’s only been the last fours years that I’ve shaped the books into the final versions, the drafts good enough to show to others, and to send to publishers and agents. That’s because the last four years I got serious about finally finishing this series instead of just writing it when I felt like it. I started setting writing goals. I started setting actual deadlines.

Thanks to this, I’m on the final book. A book that will be finished by the end of this year (if not sooner). I also have a deadline for when I’ll stop sending query letters to publishers, and for when I’ll self-publish (if I decide to go that road). I’m doing this because sixteen years is a long time to work on something. And although I’ve loved every minute of writing this series (bar the rejections), I know it’s time to finish it and get the books out into the world. That is why I set deadlines. This is why you must set your own.

It’s too easy to fall into the safety of re-writing and perfecting when you feel like you have all the time in the world to get your book written. Put a limit on that time. Give yourself six months, a year, two if you want, but do it. Having that deadline reminds you to work harder, faster and smarter with your time, and eventually makes you a better writer—one who has a finished book.

– K.M. Allan


7 thoughts on “Why You Must Set Your Own Deadline

Add yours

  1. I agree. Deadlines keep me on my toes. I have deadlines for everything. I’m a little behind today, but will work more on it tomorrow to make it up. Having goals keeps you going. Congrats on finishing your series!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I really need to hear this right now. I have a book that I have been writing on and off for at least 10 years and I really need to finish it. I also have the problem of going from one idea to another and never finishing anything because of that.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Amie Mcnee

Inspired to Write

Author April L. Taylor

You Matter. Words Matter. Your Words Matter

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

KS Writer & Teacher

Blogging about college, writing, history, and plain old life.

Ari Meghlen - Writer | Blogger | Bad card player

Tips, tricks and tutorials for writers and authors


Blood, sweat, tears, and the journey of writing and publishing fiction the ebook way!

Salted Caramel

A light-hearted look at life

dancing leaves

A safe and loving place of peace, joy, kindness, and compassion - who we really are deep inside.

No Wasted Ink

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!

Suburban Syntax

Writer and Blogger B.L. Daniels

My Ink & I

Only pen and paper get me.

The Stubborn Australian

The Journey Within


Writer, dreamer.

Writing your first novel-Things you should know

Things you should know before writing your first Novel.

Failing at Writing

and other things

Caffeine and Writing Dreams

Stories. Dreams. Coffee.

%d bloggers like this: