So. My current WIP is in first draft stage. It doesn't have a coherent, logical ending. I haven't finished re-reading it in full, or wrapped up my revision outline.
But I'm going to start working on Draft Numbah Two this week.
Folks, I love this story. It is a mess. A big one. But I love it.
And I REALLY want to fix it. Like, now.
I have a self-imposed deadline of completing Draft Numbah Two by mid-April. No one else is asking me to finish this manuscript by that date. I'm forcing myself to do so.
I haven't written a new word in a month. A MONTH, people. And before that? I was stuck in Shiny New Idea Brain Storm for THREE! *hangs head in shame*
So yeah. I need to get back to work. Or else... die?
This is why self-imposed deadlines rock. You know yourself pretty well, right? You know what you can and can't do. How long you'll probably take to work through the mess. These kinds of deadlines usually work because you're doing things at whichever pace you feel like. Sure, some of use get ambitious and aim for four revised drafts in 48 hours, but still. You're thinking hard about what you can achieve, and that's better than STARING AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN without typing A SINGLE WORD for THREE MONTHS.
Yes, I am shouting at myself. Please don't leave. I swear I'm normal. Sometimes.
Nobody knows your writing process better than yourself. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, then tackle the weaknesses first. If you do the opposite, you risk having to cut EVERYTHING later on because the messy parts are so messy, your good parts don't make much sense in the story. Take as much time as a) you need; b) your story needs. That means even after you meet your deadline, your story might still suck. Wait a while, then jump right back in. With another deadline in mind, if possible.
FYI: I'm not a huge fan of giving your first draft a deadline, but you can certainly do so. I think, with revisions, deadlines are helpful. You get organized as a writer, and your story benefits from it. Double win.
Now tell me: do you have any self-imposed deadlines right now??