I haven’t sold a book or even finished one for that matter, so I haven’t had to answer to a publisher. However, I’ve heard many of my own self-implemented deadlines whoosh on by. What I’ve found to be a more effective form of motivation is to make myself accountable to someone else. Have you ever noticed that it’s so easy to break plans with yourself but not with others? For example, I’ll make a goal for myself to sit down in the evenings and write for 30 minutes. When the time comes I’ll tell myself something along these lines, “I’m too tired. After all, it’s been an exceptionally long day. I’ll start earlier tomorrow. Yes, that’s it! I’ll write for 60 minutes tomorrow to make up for not writing tonight.” And so it goes, another day with a zero word count. Now, if I make plans with a friend to meet at a coffee shop and do some writing then it’s a different story. I might consider some excuses but in the end I’m probably going to meet her just like I planned and I’ll actually get some writing done.
While I haven’t been getting much writing done on my book lately, I have been writing in various other forms. What I’ve found is that these tasks still perpetuate my creativity. A few of the things that I’ve been working on are my blog post, a letter for the PTA, and correspondence with some school board members. While none of these things have to do with fictional writing, they still require me to write. Some other things that force me to write are setting dates with my critique group, agreeing to write an article for a newsletter, joining a group blog (it’s too easy to ignore my own), or any other commitment that requires me to get creative.
Are there any commitments you have that force you to utilize your creativity?