Author Guest Post
How To Conquer The Looming Deadline
By J.B. Miller
Writing is the most amazing, fulfilling and frustrating process in the world, especially when you have a looming deadline. How do we deal with the ticking DUE DATE when it seems to scream at us from every click of the keyboard or twirl of the pen? It really doesn’t matter whether you are getting paid in advance for your writing, are under contract or simply want to see your project through to completion. If you are going to be successful, you cannot ignore the deadline.
Do your palms get sweaty each time you look at the calendar? Are you losing sleep because you swear that you have writer’s block and won’t ever finish? I am going to share with you the three things you must do in order to rid yourself once and for all of the pressure associated with the impending deadline.
When I told my cousin, a NYT Best Selling Author, that I was going to write my first novel, I asked him for his advice. After all, he had already written at least 10 best sellers, so I figured that he knew a thing or two.
“Write with your heart and then with your head,” he told me. That was it. That was the summation of his guidance. I thought about his words for several months as I researched my topic, jotted down my characters and their personality traits and started my outline. I still wasn’t sure what his instruction summed up to, yet I decided that I would finish my book in a year and then find a publisher. My deadline was self-imposed, but it was a deadline nevertheless.
Unfortunately, I did not finish my book that initial year. I abandoned my deadline. I justified my decision by telling myself that, after all, I wasn’t getting paid, and so how important was my deadline anyway?My intentions were noble and I did write several chapters, but then I got distracted with the daily demands of life and put my manuscript down - for a whole year! My goal should have been that I would NOT finish my novel in a year. Maybe a little reverse psychology would have helped.
As my novel sat on a dusty shelf in my office, I became quite successful in my career and continued to raise my family. Yet it was the nagging thought of not finishing my story under my self-imposed deadline that continued to disrupt my evening rest. My cousin’s persistent words continued to call out in my head, but what I later realized was that I wasn’t listening to them with my heart.
One foggy, wet autumn morning, I put a fire in the fireplace and summoned up the draft of my manuscript on my laptop. I turned off all timepieces within eyesight, set the timer on my kitchen oven to two hours hence, and began to write. I wrote with total abandon. I laughed and cried and wrote some more. When the two hours were up, I was annoyed. I was really getting into it. Yet I put my book away for the next day and spent some more time researching my story line. I did this every day for two hours, which became three, four and finally five hours a day, until I finished my novel. I had written with my heart and I was happy.
I then started the write with my head process, convincing myself that I was an editor from the largest publisher in the world, and that I had to be ruthless. That part was easy,as like most writers,I tend to be my own worst critic.
I was so excited that I had met my daily deadline, that when I completed the process, it did not take me long to find a publisher. I wrote my query letter with my heart and my head and was able to convince a small press publisher to take me on as a new author. I finally understood my cousin’s advice and remain grateful.
1. Set a daily deadline. Commit to a specific amount of manageable, uninterrupted time each day to write. Write in a place that makes you happy and where you will not be distracted.
2. Write with your heart. Write non-stop. Do not worry about grammar, spell check or flow. Just write until the timer goes off somewhere in the distance.
3. Once you have finished your draft, go back and act as your own editor. Be brutal. Cut anything out that is not advancing your story foreword. Do not get attached to your words. Be harsh.
4. Bonus Tip: Believe in yourself. See yourself with your finished manuscript. Relish in your impending success!
You will discover that once you start a daily routine, you will actually be annoyed when the timer turns off. Soon deadlines will be a thing of the past. In fact, you will find yourself finishing ahead of schedule!
J.B. Miller is the Author of No Time For Love, a novel.
About The Author
AUTHOR BLOG SITE
J.B. Miller ~ No Time For Love ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours
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Contest Dates: Nov 15, 2012 - Jan 25, 2013
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No Time For Love - Book Trailer
Publisher: TMG Books
Publication Date: October 13, 2012
Format: Paperback - 466 pages / Kindle - 659 KB / Nook - 2 MB
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: No Time For Love
BARNES & NOBLE
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.
Chatham Ross has no time – for anything, least of all love. She manages her three kid’s demanding schedules, exercises at crazy hours to preserve her less than perfect figure and writes catchy advertising jingles to pay for the mortgage. To the outside world, she seems to have it all – except for a husband. Who has time for that? Besides, hers died unexpectedly five years ago and she’s still not over it. A chance occurrence with a particular jingle finds Chatham on a bi-coastal roller coaster that she can’t seem to put the breaks on. Will the man who has always secretly loved her finally have his chance to ride along? Or will the very handsome foreigner on the other side of the country claim her wounded heart? At some point she has to choose which path is for her – or has it been there all along?
Book Excerpt (Teaser):
It seemed that everything in Chatham’s life revolved around time – or lack thereof. There just didn’t seem to be enough of it, especially for what she loved most, sleeping. Who had time for that?
My Book Review:
Chatham Ross is a widowed single mother of three kids who works as an independent advertising consultant. With her kid's activity schedules and her demanding work, she barely has time to sleep or work out let alone have time for love. Five years ago her husband Peter died unexpectedly while on a business trip, leaving Chatham to pick up the pieces of her family's life. Chatham has managed to take care of her family to the best of her ability, but hasn't really had the time to take care of herself. A spur of the moment action leads her to stop by the local gym and sign-up for fitness classes. She meets Palio, the hunky gym owner, who comes from a rich New York family. There is mutual attraction between Chatham and Palio, but there is another problem ... her close friend Trip, who has become a part of the family since Peter died, is secretly in love with her, he has been waiting for the right time to tell her how he feels, but she had no clue that he felt that way towards her. With two men attracted to her, which one will steal her heart? Will Chatham find time for love?
No Time For Love is a heartwarming romantic story about family, friendships and getting a second chance at finding love. In her debut novel, author J.B. Miller weaves a tender and inspirational story of one woman's journey to reconcile her past and put it behind her, live in the present, and look forward to a future with a new love. This wonderful story has an easy writing style that flows so smoothly, it embraces the reader and draws you into Chatham's life as if you were a part of her family.
This fun story has a mixture of romance, comedy and even a little bit of mystery thrown into the mix. The author transports the reader between the East Coast and West Coast as Chatham tries to choose between Palio and Trip. The story has some really nice lighthearted romance scenes, a lot of humorous scenes that provide laugh out loud moments, and enough intriguing twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages. I do have to admit that I found the story to be a tad bit long as it has over four hundred plus pages, but the author does such a wonderful job of maintaining the reader's interest that it does have a fast-paced feel that makes up for the length of the book. With a quirky cast of characters that are fun to get to know; engaging dialogue and interactions; and a bit of suspense and mystery to peak your interest; No Time For Love is a poignant true-to-life story of one woman's ability to juggle family, work and love.
RATING: 4 STARS ****