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.

One thought on “Timelines, deadlines, and disasters

  1. “No matter what you want to do, you have to do something else first.” I don’t know who said it, but they sure hit the nail on the head! I’ve never had to deal with a writing deadline other than my own, but that could become a fact of life if I catch a break or two here. But yeah, you’ve really caught the spirit of the indie author struggling to keep his production up. Now I think about it, maybe an external deadline (say, from a publisher) would replace our own scattered approach with some much-needed focus. Something has to work, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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