On Writing and Big Hairy Deadlines

So earlier today, I tweeted this:

Last year I set a goal to write and publish my first book before I hit 40. Maybe I should tweak it slightly to write 2 before 40 #6weeks
— Anthony Karcz (@Sunstreaker84) July 9, 2014

Then after the coffee wore off and I got home from my day job and opened the lid on my trusty Mac Air, I plugged some numbers into Scrivener and came up with this realization:

Oh. Well that’s…that’s ambitious. This is what happens when I make BHAGs when hopped up on caffeine #amstaring pic.twitter.com/xBikqxzmd2
— Anthony Karcz (@Sunstreaker84) July 10, 2014

But here’s the funny thing. Instead of panicking, I dove in. I grabbed the scraps of story that had been floating around in my morning slush pile, shoved them onto that blank page that was staring at me, and made my word count. Is that going to happen every night? Most certainly not; but I’m not worried.

Because here’s my secret, deadlines are my creative fuel. I can speculate scenarios and throw down scenes all day long; but if I don’t have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal for those of you who haven’t been stuck in offices with newly-minted leadership class graduates in the past few decades) I don’t have the fire I need to sit down, power through the meandering bullshit, and get it done.

So turning 40 was enough of a hard deadline to motivate me for Book 1, I might as well mine it for all that it’s worth while I still have time!

2% down – time to get to work.

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