Allow me to tell you about a little something I learned when I was just a wee little lad. Several times a week, my dad would sit me down and ask me: “so, what’ve you got planned for the day?” It was a simple question, and one I should’ve had an answer for each time he asked. But that was usually never the case. I hardly ever had an answer for him, and when I did, it was a fleeting thought about something that I might’ve wanted to do a day or two down the road.
“You need to make a schedule,” he’d then tell me. “Make a schedule and organize your thoughts. Create a checklist or something like that. You’ll be more productive that way.”
Did I listen to him? I’d like to tell you that I did.
So, how have I managed to write two YA fantasy novels, as well as two other picture eBooks for adults, while sticking to my deadlines without driving myself barking mad?
You’ve guessed it. I finally started listening to what my old man had to say. Here’s how I’ve incorporated his advice into furthering my productivity and finding success along the way.
Every Sunday, I’d take about five to ten minutes out of my time and sit down to make a checklist. Trust me on this. Make a list and write down everything you’d like to accomplish that week. And then when you feel like you’ve listed out and scheduled your entire week, add a few more items you’d like to accomplish.
There are seven days in a week, which equates to 168 hours. That’s a whole lot of hours just waiting to be used up (or wasted. That decisions up to you). 168 hours. There’s so much we can do in that time. There’s so much we can accomplish, and yet, the majority of us find that we’re only ever able to complete a fraction of what we intended to finish. The reason, I find, is because for the most part, we end up wasting our time trying to figure out what to do next, or how to kill that time which is given to us.
This is where the checklist we created comes into play. Take it as a challenge to accomplish each and every item on that list. Because you’ve already written down the things you’d like to get done by week’s end, there is little or no time wasted trying to get yourself organized. What’s more is that you’ve written down more than you can accomplish. Try your hardest to get all of it done. Chances are you won’t. But by reaching for the stars, you know how the rest of this cliché goes.
So how does making this checklist and trying to complete the items on that list help you meet your deadlines and remain sane while doing it?
Creating that list and hoping to check off the items as you finish them isn’t enough to get the job done. Sometimes, it is. However, along the way, we tend to bite our nails, repeatedly bang our heads on the table, grit and bare our teeth at our laptops hoping for some miracle to happen, take naps to calm our mounting frustration, etcetera, etcetera, and another etcetera, why? Because we tend to look at the project as a whole.
Don’t do that. It can be rather overwhelming considering the amount of work that needs to be done to complete whatever it is that you’re trying to complete.
Instead, take a deep breath. Relax. And while you’re making that checklist to start the new week, remind yourself to take this one day at a time, one step at a time. And while you’re at it, remind yourself why you’re doing this.
No one’s forcing you to be a writer.
This is your passion. Your choice.
You’re pushing yourself beyond your mental endurance because you want to see your book, your creation, come to life.
So why stress over that deadline and hurt yourself while trying to meet it.
You’ve got the tools. You’ve got the want and the will. And now, you’ve that magical little checklist to guide your way. So start cracking and start checking off those items as you breeze right through them.
If you’re a writer, you’re reading this, and you’re trying to meet a deadline, always keep one thing in mind. We’ve already embarked upon a quest that makes us partly insane. So tell me, fellow writer, what’ve you got to lose?
Haunted by memories of his massacred settlement, sixteen-year-old Weaver seeks cover in a hidden refuge among the remains of a ruined city. In the midst of building a new life, Weaver discovers that he has the amazing power to cast his dreams into reality. Convinced it’s just an anomaly, Weaver ignores it. That is until he learns of a mysterious man who shares the ability, and uses his power to bring nightmares into existence and wage war on the world. The peaceful life Weaver hoped for begins to unravel as waves of chaos begin to break loose about him. In a race against time, Weaver must learn to accept his role as a dream caster and master his new power, before his new home is destroyed and humanity is pushed to the brink of extinction.
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG
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