You’ve been working on this book for a long time. It’s one of the best things you have ever written in your life. Now, you want to share it with people.
You show it to some friends, and they are ecstatic! They love it, and they want more. It’s a dream come true, right?
Well, then they ask the question you’ve been dreading:
When is it coming out?
You don’t have a good answer.
You haven’t chosen a release date yet because you don’t feel the book is ready. You haven’t thought it’s ready for years now. Moreover, you’ve been editing it and maybe in some cases even hadn’t finished it.
You wrote a lot but didn’t bring it to a conclusion.
Whatever the reason — you think you have all the time in the world.
Let me correct you: You don’t. In fact, you probably want to release that book sooner rather than later because we tend to think about similar things. A different person with a similar idea might beat you to it if they have more agency than you do, and they make it before you.
But why? Why is it that you allow yourself to procrastinate this way?
The reason is that you’re independent. That freedom allows you to choose to procrastinate. When you’re working for somebody else, you receive tasks from them, and you know how to deal with that. When you’re working for yourself, you allow yourself to slack off.
I’m not going to conclude with ‘allow someone to hold you accountable’. I know you thought it might go there. While that’s a good idea, it isn’t what I’m going for here.
What I am going for here is to give yourself an undeniable deadline. Not just in your mind, but something you publish to the world. That is the date when your book will be out.
I recently did this with my NaNoWriMo book from this year, which I haven’t finished yet. I have actually put it up for pre-order on Amazon with a release date for my birthday — Sep. 7th, 2020. I have ten months to complete it, edit it, and market it before it is finally released. It’s going to be around NaNo books’ length, so 50k.
I don’t care if people buy it during this time, but at least I can use the fact it’s out there like a deadline.
Now, after I gave myself a deadline, I can plan ahead. It’s not arbitrary anymore; It’s not living in my mind any longer, and It has a set date that I need to keep. People can pre-order the book now on Amazon!
I’m so excited, and like any project at work, I can see myself planning this ahead and getting it done. I no longer hesitate. Now, I can draw upon my similar experience at work and treat writing this book like a work task. I no longer think about my book in a dreamy kind of way (soon…I’ll publish it soon).
Neither should you! Give your book a deadline — a real one like putting it up in Amazon and see yourself writing it. That’s the only thing you were missing so far. For better or for worse — your book will be out there soon.