Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
When I worked at the newspaper many years ago I learned to write to deadlines. In the newspaper industry, you live and die by the deadline. Once I left the newspaper I reveled in the idea that I could write whenever I wanted. Yay, right?! I assumed my beautiful Muse would flitter around the room on a daily basis and gift me with incredible ideas that I would spin into fantastic stories, or at the very least she'd plant ideas for articles I could query editors with.
Know what happened? The Muse never came. I tried to chase her down and shake ideas out of her but she always remained just out of reach. I don't know how friendly your Muse is, but mine was more of a hindrance than a help. Then I found a way to outsmart her! I set deadlines for myself, forced myself to come up with my own ideas and then wrote my articles queries, etc. I didn't need her.
Then do you know what happened? The more I wrote, the more I wrote AND the more the Muse started to help me out. Even when I was in the midst of a writing project, she'd pop by, sit on my shoulder and whisper sweet ideas in my ear. I could hardly keep up with them all.
The idea of setting deadlines and writing whether the mood struck or not proved the adage that, "Writers write." I've just recently set a new deadline for myself for a book project. I was speaking to my new publisher, Susan Daffron, and at the end of the conversation she asked, "So, when can I have that outline." I stuttered, mumbled, then just shouted out a date. Even though I no longer rely on the Muse to gift me with ideas I am hoping she will show up to help me with my outline… please, Miss Muse!
What's the last deadline you set for yourself? Do you think you'd be more productive if you had one?