Should you set a deadline?

Back before the summer break, I gave myself a deadline to have most of the first draft of book three completed by the time my daughter went back to school.

I started with good intentions, and all was going well until…the inevitable spanner in the works came hurtling along.

Whenever I have given myself a deadline with this third book, something always crops up to sabotage my goal. This never happens when I am given a deadline by someone else, but me, when I set a goal, it often backfires.

Over the six-week holiday my daughter caught the Noro virus (which she kindly passed on to me – sharing is caring!) Actually, I shouldn’t joke, because we were both very ill – I actually lost 6 lbs in three days! Yes, a nasty stomach bug can have its benefits to the waistline, but I think 6 lbs in that short amount of time is pretty extreme.

I’ll spare you all the nasty details, but we were ill for over two weeks, and even after the worst of it had passed, I still felt awful and had no energy to get back to book three.

From now on I will not give myself a deadline. I seem to jinx it every time, and with the  How to Hook an Agent event coming up in a few weeks time, I hope to have more of book three completed, but if it’s not, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I can’t help but wonder how many of you are the same? Do you ‘jinx’ your own progress? How to you tackle deadlines or do you refuse to set a target for yourself?

Let me know your thoughts and tips 🙂