Timelines, deadlines, and disasters

Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who work well to timelines, so the very thought of using something like Microsoft Project to get my writing into some sort of timeframe, with deadlines, seemed, to me, to be a bit extreme.

Say for instance the major deadlines for a writing project are

  1.  Write an outline, with as much detail as possible, with an overarching plot, characters, key points in the novel, and scouting for locations
  2. Writing.  This could be broken down into chapters, but more practicable would be sectioned, each consisting of a number of chapters.
  3. Editing, planning for one, two or three, or more edits
  4. Proofreading
  5. Send to editor

Clearly if I was going to take this approach, then I would have to allocate hours of the day specifically for writing and doing all those other writer chores in less time, and with fewer distractions.

And, it might work for a more dedicated author.


I did make a new years resolution that I would try and do things differently this year.


I set a goal to restart editing of my next novel on 1st Feb. I thought, setting it so far into the year it would be easy.

It would give me the time to clear up all the outstanding, get in the way, distractions, and be free to finally finish it.

No such luck.  I never found the time to do the planning.

And there’s always something else to do, other than what we’re supposed to be doing.

For me it was going away, spending long, sleepless hours flying from one side of the world to the other had fuelled my imagination more than I expected and I now have three more stories that need either a continuing plot outline or be written as ideas come to me.

If only I could focus on one story at a time.


I’ve re-jigged the timetable and set a goal to finish playing with these other stories by the end of the month, so come the first of March, I can resume work on the next book to be published.

Or not.

4 thoughts on “Timelines, deadlines, and disasters

  1. You and me both, brother! I’m my own worst enemy on this stuff. I know what needs to be done, and I really ought to buckle down and do it, but other things are more interesting. See my next blog post for an example!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Charles,
    I have not heard of Microsoft Project. I don’t think it would help me, though. I tend to write out my ideas in journals that have pretty covers (then I get distracted and move on to another idea). Currently, I am in the middle of writing a novel. It is my first and I feel a bit confident about it because I have managed to set aside time to write when I am in the coffee shop on Saturday mornings. I do need to organize myself more, so I might consider giving this Microsoft Project a try.
    Thank you for buying my poetry book. I hope you like it. I am still reading your novel. Charlotte is a fascinating character-I am mid-way through and the suspense is definitely building. I wonder about her motivations. It is intriguing.
    I will recommend your book to my friends and family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Microsoft project is heavy duty software so while I sometimes use it bed a use I have a copy (I used to be a trainer in such software and wrote many training maunals) it is very expensive.
      There are other options one of which is using Microsoft excel and googling the subject will put you on the right path.
      And, thank you for your kind comments about One Last Look

      Liked by 1 person

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