Project Dreamcatcher: Goal Schedule

In which I admit I am struggling with my deadlines. No Ted Talk this week.

My iMac is being rebuilt at the Genius Bar. It’s taking longer than I expected. And I am struggling: I’ve been writing longhand in my pretty journal, but it’s not the way I prefer to write and it’s slowing me down. I haven’t had as much time to write as I thought I would.

I have admittedly put myself on a pretty tight schedule with tight deadlines (see below). And when I start to miss looming deadlines, my risk-aversive brain starts going into escape mode. What cupcakes can I make? Can I go to the gym instead? Or, shamefully, I discovered “Scandal” was streaming on NetFlix and decided to see what the fuss was all about one valuable free night. Four HOURS later!!

This procrastination then leads to a self-perpetuating cycle of shame and guilt. And it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the hugeness of the goal I have set (30,000 perfect, ready to be published words! In 2 months! With no computer right now!)

Anyway. That’s where my head has been. I reached out a Project Dreamcatcher member and admitted all this. She told me that I tend to be negative toward myself (true) and while I am positive about what I get done and accomplish, I’m very hard on myself when I’m in a nebulous territory.

That’s when I realized that I have some tools for this.

First: the have dones. It helped me to look at what I have accomplished this week.

1. Diagnosed, backed up and saved data then dealt with and got cheapest fix possible for iMac. Brought iMac to Genius Bar. Followed up.
2. Received changes from one editor for 1st half of book. In process of reviewing changes.
3. Got final bids for transcription services. Got closer to making final decision.
4. Began and made it halfway through research and writing of newest profile.

I mean, this is not where I want to be, but it IS progress.

I also started imagining a stop sign when I started berating myself. Weirdly, this helped to stop those negative thoughts in their tracks.

Finally, I remembered that I could be honest here, with you guys, who have been so supportive of this project. And that would help me, too.

So. Want to see my aggressive timeline of deadlines? Of course you do šŸ˜‰

Week of June 17th: send story to profile subject for approval. Finalize transcription service. Begin next profile. Review edits for completed chapters.

Week of June 24th: complete second profile, send to subject for approval. Get completed transcriptions, send to editors. Begin to investigate cost of cover art and PDF conversion of document to Kindle.

Week of July 1: complete third profile, send to subject for approval. Review changes to transcriptions. Choose vendors to get quotes from. Investigate legal fees/language and reprints of poems/song lyrics.

Week of July 8: complete 4th profile, send to subject for approval. Review proposals from vendors of art, PDF format. Investigate cost of hard cover books.

Week of July 15: vacation. But: write 5th profile, send to subject. Send approved profiles to editors.

Week of July 22: write 6th profile, send to subject. Finalize cover art and PDF vendor. Decide on hard cover book. Resolve legal issues.

Week of July 29: Write 6th profile, send to subject. Write introductory chapter.

Week of August 5: end of Project Dreamcatcher. Write 7th chapter, send to subject.

Rest of August:
Write 3 more profiles, get approvals.
Forward and Afterward
Get all edits done and back
Pick cover art
Get finalized document to Kindle vendor
Deal with Amazon

Not included in all of this of course? The many tweaks and changes that will occur as I proceed. This is a working document that will constantly be fluid.

Ugh. It’s a lot. But it’s worth it. I know it is.

I want to tell you all that I am here for you too: if you need advice, encouragement or just a little reassurance. I’m on Twitter at @2manyfish2fry and I’m Too Many Fish To Fry on Facebook or just email me at

For everyone/anyone: do you find providing yourself with a timeline of deadlines is helpful to getting a goal accomplished? Or do you think it stresses you out too much?

And sorry for a lack of links and or typos: I’m currently using my phone to write blog posts. :/ I will update with links tomorrow!!


Filed under getting published, Project Dreamcatcher, writing

8 responses to “Project Dreamcatcher: Goal Schedule

  1. You are accomplishing so much!

    I have sort of soft deadlines. I don’t work well with lots of deadlines it makes me anxious and then the anxiety derails me.

    I have sort of an amorphous idea of things and then work as steadily as a I can. Once I start seeing progress usually helps me continue.

    But of course this is the main crux of my life. Perhaps if I had had more assertive deadlines I would be more accomplishedā€¦ Very likely. šŸ˜‰

    Well I think this is terrific and I’m very excited for you. It’s wonderful to see the process. I’m always fascinated by how other people work.

    I will say that it strikes me that the difficulty also is the business side of things these days. That is the part that would challenge me the most.



  2. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished! One of the most important things I have learned (through weight loss, although not exactly the same, it’s still a journey towards a goal) is that perfection isn’t required. As long as you continue to move towards the goal and make progress, you aren’t a failure. You just have to keep taking steps, and eventually you will get there. We’re here for you!

  3. I am the same exact way with writing deadlines. I start to miss one or two, and then the guilt/stress/feeling of being overwhelmed leads to me seeking out all kinds of distractions and inevitably missing more. It is awful!

    Ironically, I am the same way with diets too. Very all or nothing!

  4. SRB

    The stop sign is an awesome image! Sounds like something my meditation teacher would come up with (he was also a psychiatrist who did CBT for anxiety, so definitely something he would say!)

    I have to say, breaking everything up into weeks was overwhelming at first, to see everything I had to do for the whole summer… and then I realized I only need to do one week at a time and it isn’t SO hard. But it should be a little hard, right? Right. šŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: project dreamcatcher – week three (goal schedule) | little chicken nuggets

  6. Pingback: project dreamcatcher – week three (goal schedule) | popcorn ceiling life

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