Woohoo! At last I've started the next stage of the rewrites of Discord's Apprentice. This novel's turning into a real marathon. I thought it would take six months at most, but fate has a way of making your plans look silly. Setting myself unrealistic goals doesn't help. I inevitably think I can get more done than I can. The result is, I miss the targets I've set myself and if I'm not careful, I feel a failure. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
    Before I go further, I'd like to say that I have never, ever missed a deadline for commissioned work. Even if I had to work through the night and prop my eyes open with matchsticks, I wouldn't let an editor or a client down. It's a question of priorities. When I write for other people, that work goes to the top of my list.
    Why do I set myself deadlines at all? I'd feel just as bad if I let things drag on indefinitely with no finish point in sight. Having a deadline helps me to focus, and even if I don't get as must done as I hoped, I get more done than if I had no deadline at all.
    The trick is to work out how much time I think I'll need and double it (okay, treble it). It helps if I break tasks down into more manageable chunks. For instance, instead of trying to guess how long it would take to write Discord's Apprentice, I would have done better to calculate one chapter at a time. All the little bits add up and eventually, you find you've finished.
    So, now I'm trying to figure out when I'll be able to complete the next stage of the rewrites, proofing, editing and uploading. When I've got a date in mind, I'm going to keep it to myself–I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone except me. The nearest I'll say is that it won't take me anywhere near as long to finish as it has done already–no way!