Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Self-Publishing and Deadlines


My posts have gone from weekly to fortnightly and now–hmm? When I can. I’ve been busy working on my latest novel and that has to take priority. If the worst thing about traditional publishing is the stress of deadlines, the worst thing about self-publishing is the lack of deadlines!

I’m heading to Vanuatu in October, just for a few days, for my son’s wedding. It’s not something that should have a great effect on my writing but I’ve set myself a deadline, to finish my current novel before then. Every morning I sit down and write for at least an hour and then again after lunch–I’m aiming for at least 1000 words a day, which is not much compared to some people but I know my limits. I’m writing another rural romance, of sorts; Stony Creek is still doing very well. This one is kind of a road trip rural romance and the protagonist is a girl from outback New South Wales who first appeared briefly in Stony Creek.Stony_Creek_Cover_for_Kindle

A friend who’s a successful children’s writer said he only writes 500 words a day, which he’ll work at until it’s perfect, while another writer friend writes around 5000 a day. Some people work full time and can only write when they have a bit of spare time. The trouble is, if you don’t plan your writing time and you don’t have a deadline it’s far too easy to keep putting it off.

It’s essential for a self-published writer to be self-disciplined–we have to make a regular time to just sit and write, even if what we’re writing has to be re-written next day. Don’t wait until you’re in the mood. Just sit down and write at the same time every day, or, if you only have one evening a week, just make it a regular time. If you write on a laptop it’s probably a good idea to be in the same place as well, wherever you can get some peace and quiet.

I write on a desktop so I don’t have that option and it can be difficult at times but there’s only my husband and me here now–I could never have managed when my five sons were living with us! Self-publishing does allow for flexibility–if something comes up I can take a day off and the world won’t end. If I miss my deadline I won’t be in trouble with my publisher; if, on the other hand, I do meet my deadline I’ll be very pleased with myself and enjoy my first overseas trip that little bit more!

Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

18 thoughts on “Self-Publishing and Deadlines

  1. A very timely and important post. I “must” do better about my writing schedule. I will establish a writing schedule. I will. I will. I will. Again, thanks for the post. Congratulations to you and your family on your son’s upcoming wedding.

  2. I’m ashamed to say that even though I intended to do more writing and photography after I retired, I have done neither. 😦

  3. Ruth, I share your shame. I retired March 31, 2014. I am enrolled in a writer’s class and I do complete writing assignment there but I need to establish a daily writing schedule to accomplish my writing goals.

  4. You really do Patrica. Just start with something small–half an hour when you know you can and stick with it. Good luck!

  5. Sounds to me like you’ve definitely got your priorities right. Good luck with your writing!

  6. Great tips and insight. I struggle with scheduling writing as well. I need to get my butt in the chair and just start. Things go from there. But it’s harder said than done. Thanks for the post and good luck with your writing!

  7. Flexible deadlines are very important. I self-published my book which was released a couple weeks ago. It was hard work but I enjoyed the entire process. Having time and being disciplined were two important elements. I encourage you all to stick with it.

  8. Great comments all. You have my support to get ‘er done!

  9. Vanuatu? Oh, that’s fantastic. I hope there’s time to experience the place without wedding-related stresses as well.

  10. Wonderful thoughts, Chris. I’ll share you with the writing class I teach.

  11. This was a really helpful post Chris, thank you. I think this has been my biggest issue since I started writing. I work full time as a teacher, have a 17 year old disabled son and have recently met and married; I just don’t know where the time goes! Sometimes fortnights will pass without me writing a word and then I feel terribly guilty. I shall just aim at 500 words a day – that’s got to be do-able, hasn’t it? Hope the wedding was wonderful, Mandy x

    • The wedding was lovely, Mandy. I think time is an issue for most of us these days and there’s no easy answer. If we want to write we have to make the time somehow–500 words should be do-able but with your workload maybe it’s not. I don’t know. Try it and see. Even one page a day is maybe a novel a year!

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