Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


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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┬áis 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!