A deadline passes without the goal being accomplished. Then it sits in the mind, nagging away that the goal still needs doing, and other things are piling up around it, falling farther and farther behind. It becomes a snowball rolling downhill. It gathers bits and pieces of broken plans until it’s a giant mess, gathering debris with no end in sight.
There are times in the writing/publishing process that this is exactly how things seem. One small deadline passes without something to show for it, and then all the following deadlines feel like that looming snowball threatening to engulf you.
But what I must remind myself of—and maybe encourage you with—Is it’s a choice to get ensnared in that crushing weight. I can become crushed, feeling like I have to fix it all and get back on schedule, or I can adapt and overcome.
When I worked in dispatch, my husband coached me through the stress of it with two key sayings, “Work the problem,” and “Adapt and overcome.” Both of these started with the advice of, “Just breathe.”
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and then lose sight of the bigger picture. We can choose not to, however.
All this to say, some of my plannings for this year have gone awry from my original schedule.
That’s okay. I have no control over getting some of it back on track. For instance, I can’t control how long it’ll take for the printer to get me the proofs or the stock for Mystery of the Golden Shells. I’m still hoping to publish the book by August 15th in time for Soda City Comic Con on August 20th and 21st.
What I can do is start formatting as I receive images from the illustrator and have the manuscript ready for the printer as soon as possible. I’ve started on this and seeing the book come together is like watching magic happen.
I’ve also fallen behind on finishing the rough draft for Hidden Mythics II. I can’t go back and change that.
But I can get back to my writing schedule and finish the manuscript now. Instead of focusing on what didn’t happen, I’m choosing to focus on what I can do moving forward.
So obviously, I’m still working on that 1500 words per writing day that I posted about back in January. (Achievable or Not?) And my new goal for Mystery of the Golden Shells is to get the book to the printer for a proof by the middle of June. We’ll see how it goes.
How are your own goals going? Is there anything you need to take a breath about?