Okay, so here is the situation… I have to remove this deadline. While I would LOVE to maintain a publishing schedule of a book every 3 months, this is only possible WITHOUT the pressure to do it.
It is becoming increasingly unlikely that The Sacrifice will be out January 20th. And I’m not sure WHEN it will be out. Maybe February. Maybe March. Who the hell knows?
What I know is a few things are happening:
1. I’m putting too much stress and pressure on myself.
2. As a result I’m turning writing into torture and killing my love and joy for it.
So this is what’s happening. I don’t want to lose momentum. I truly do want to release this book in January, but the ONLY way that has even a snowball’s chance in hell of happening is if I remove ALL pressure, which means removing all deadlines. And I can’t just do that in my own head because there’s a pre-order set up (everywhere but Amazon). So to destroy the deadline pressure I need to state categorically where other people can see it: NO DEADLINE. The book is going to come when it comes.
Another problem that was happening was… when I have X amount of time to write a book and I have an idea of how many word it’s going to be… I can figure out “how many words I need to write per day” to get there. THe problem comes when I’m thinking in “word count” (I mean there is no better way to turn writing into drudgery than boiling it down to this widget word factory “word quota” mentality. I mean for fuck’s sake, I don’t get up every day and go to work at the word factory. The STORY matters, not the number of words.)
So basically let’s say I’ve figured up with 1 day off a week, to hit a particular deadline I need to write 2k words a day. Here’s the problem. Now there’s pressure to perform and make that word count happen every day because if it doesn’t happen every day I fall behind and then owe MORE words each day to hit the same deadline.
And the really fucked up part is this… I get overwhelmed and think… eek the story isn’t talking to me today, the words aren’t coming. Or the day slips away and I realize “hey I don’t have the time available in my day to write X words today”. So what happens? I don’t write AT ALL that day. And then the next day the pressure is on even higher.
I am LITERALLY killing my own magic here with this insanity.
It’s super great that I produced as much as I did this year. I mean I did fucking amazing. I released a freebie novella as a newsletter reader magnet, and also I released 4 novels this year on a perfect three month schedule: January, April, July, and October.
And I really wanted to keep that trend going, BUT… BUT… I can’t do it with deadlines. Working consistently every day minus days off to whatever capacity and pace feels comfortable is going to produce a better book and ironically will probably produce it faster. Because yes, some days the words don’t come. But other days I have “on fire” days where I write like 4k or 5k words and it doesn’t even feel like work. The less pressure that’s on me, the more I can have days like that.
So here’s the new plan:
1. No deadline. And I mean that firmly. I’m not going to give you a tentative release date. If the book isn’t done in time for the original date, I’ll push out the pre-order at the retailers. (I can do this everywhere but Zon without penalty and Zon doesn’t even have a pre-order up yet because I only do a Zon pre-order a week before release after the book is finished.)
2. Except for my day off my daily word count quota is 100 words. Yes, a HUNDRED. That’s not a typo. Because like 75% of the resistance is just opening the Word doc and starting typing. By this point 90% of the time (all these percentages are totally made up btw, they just “feel” right), I’m off to the races.
3. Except for that motivational “you just have to write 100 words” thing, Focus on SCENES not word count. i.e. if I’m focused on: “okay this is what needs to happen in this scene today” and I just write until I finish that scene I normally end up with MORE words than the “quotas”. But when I focus on word count quota it takes FOREVER and I tend to stop “when I hit that word count” even if I’m in the middle of a scene.
So that’s the plan. I will let you know when the book is coming out… when it’s done.