Being Your Own Boss Means Meeting Deadlines

By Tom Wood

Deadlines, deadlines, and more deadlines.

DeadlineIf you are a journalist thinking about self-publishing your Great American Novel, you know the word too well. But as Bachman-Turner Overdrive sang, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Or you’ve already self-published, so you probably know how the deadlines never cease even after the book comes out. Welcome to my world.

But if you’ve just recently retired, or been downsized, or are a stay-at-home mom or dad who always wanted to write a book and you decided to self-publish, know this:

You’re always on deadline.

Now you might not have an editor hovering over you, an agent sending URGENT emails or a publisher SCREAMING for the next chapters, but it doesn’t mean you can escape the pressures of deadlines.

In fact, self-imposed deadlines might be the hardest of all — precisely because only three people will push you to complete the book.

Me, myself and I.

You have to be a self-driven, disciplined, and motivated individual to finish that story you’ve always wanted to tell. If it never gets written, who’s going to know besides you and your closest friends?

Since I self-published “Vendetta Stone” in August 2013 and began doing speaking engagements and promotional events, many people have sadly expressed a desire to finish the book they started so many years ago. Why didn’t they complete the project? Mostly because life got in the way, or they got frustrated, or…

It’s not easy to find the time to write in a day full of work, chores, raising a family or whatever.

But I’ve met several practicing attorneys, doctors, and public relations specialists — married ones — who have found time to churn out a book. That’s discipline. They spend weekends on the road hawking books and speaking to groups just like the rest of us. That’s motivated.

And if you self-publish more than one book, you must set aside writing time each day while you are promoting events, calling bookstore owners, keeping track of sales, writing blogs, and doing everything else the job entails.

So pardon me if I cut this short.

I’m on deadline.

Tom WoodA veteran sports writer and copy editor, Tom Wood has covered a variety of events ranging from the Iroquois Memorial Steeplechase to the Atlanta Olympic Games for The Tennessean in Nashville. After retirement, he continues his passion for writing, contributing to the Civil War-based anthology, “Filtered Through Time” and conducting an interview with Stephen King for “Feast of Fear: Conversations with Stephen King”. In the last year, Tom has begun writing Western fiction short stories, two of which have been published by Western Trail Blazer. “Tennesseans West” is his next project with four other authors involved. He is also an actor and can be seen in several episodes of the ABC series “Nashville”. He also coordinates the Killer Nashville guest blog series. “Vendetta Stone” is his first novel and he is working on the sequel.

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