Motivational Mistakes—Publishing Promises

A Cautionary Tale

That 2nd short story collection won’t be out for the holidays.

Sometime in 2020. Maybe for summer reading—or maybe in the fall. I’ve made much progress, but lots left to do.

Also coming in 2020, a month happily lost to a 40th anniversary trip! Life beyond writing

Here’s the thing–perhaps a clue to those inclined to the mistakes I made:

  • A self-imposed deadline as a motivational tool
  • Well thought out (seemingly) steps with due-dates
  • Forgetting that stuff happens, bumping the agenda
  • So, an Eagle Peak Annual delayed three months by care of another and illnesses of my own
  • Extensive planning required for that 25-day trip in 2020
  • A week away to a Florida retreat in December—planned and booked a year before

One might suppose that some authors with several books out can reliably predict when the next one will be out. Others, not necessarily. Less likely is the writer who has published only two. That includes me.

Self-motivation and discipline are essential for an author—especially a self-published one. I have those. What I don’t have is a crystal ball to predict events that overcome a publishing agenda. So, if you have a life beyond writing, here’s my tip to you: don’t be too free posting far-off book releases. More so when few words have been written.

I have publishing goals for the next ten years (year by year). They need revising. From now on, I won’t confidently proclaim, many months in advance, when those books will be out.

Still, the least I can do is repost a poem from five years ago.

Meeting Death in the Kitchen

In the darkness before dawn, I see Death in the kitchen

Draping itself casually upon a chair, penetrating blackness beckons

Yes, come then, get your glass of water—you have time for that

Ahh—just a sleepy eye deceived, a sweater left behind

I must speak to her about that


6 thoughts on “Motivational Mistakes—Publishing Promises

  1. Sounds like you’ve got lots on your plate John, and lots of lovely surprises coming in the new year! I concur with all you said. It’s good to be accountable to ourselves, but life does happen and sometimes we just have to adjust our sails. I know this well.
    Merry Christmas to you and J – or Happy holidays. 🙂 🙂

  2. ha ha re life gets in the way in spite of best intentions John. I’ve been mia for a while now … but all good wishes for a happy Christmas and new year and have huge amounts of fun. Your poem is very evocative – but I’m thinking that someone was cross with you for leaving a sweater where it shouldn’t be?

  3. I find that life gets a little more unpredictable the older I get. On the flip side, most deadlines are a thing of the past. Enjoy life—we’ve earned it!

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