I Don't Like Deadlines. I'm Giving Myself a Deadline.

Nov 25 If you're familiar with Myers-Briggs terminology, I'm a nearly off-the-chart P. I like to go with the flow and take things pretty easy, and I don't like deadlines. But to survive in a work environment where an organization exists for more than going with the flow, I've had to learn some J skills. These days in my life, I love setting my own schedule, but... the kind of flow I'm comfortable going with could slow down to where its movement is almost imperceptible to the naked eye. That wouldn't bother me much, but it also wouldn't help this book project get done.

So I'm giving my J side a workout and actually (painfully) setting myself a deadline. If I was working with a traditional publisher on this, that would certainly help get it done. They would give me a deadline, and I would have to stick to it. But since there's no one who will ever be barking at me to get this moved past the finish line, my hope is that by unnecessarily posting this information publicly to the galaxy, a couple of you might love me enough to bark if the book isn't done when this date comes around.

So here it is: The book, Live Prayerfully, will be completely finished by Nov. 25, 2012. This is pretty ambitious, but I think it's possible. Since I've taught the material of the book a few times on retreats, it's almost all written. My only task is to change it from speaking notes into book chapters and add some parts where needed. I'm about 90% there now, so that part of the project is doable. It also means I need to go ahead and make some contacts with people who might be able to do the book cover, final edit, and anything else for which I'lll need the help of someone who really knows what they're doing.

I know it's easy to underestimate how long things will take, but I'm also grateful to already have a much smaller DIY self-publishing experience under my belt with Understanding Infant Baptismso I think I've got a decent idea of the steps involved. We'll see.

So why Nov. 25? A few reasons:

  • The main content of the book will be offered again through our church early next year, hopefully in January, and it would be helpful to have for people by then.
  • Also, our church will have a year-long emphasis on prayer in 2013, so I hope to be guiding folks through the ideas in Live Prayerfully in other settings as well next year.
  • That emphasis in our church has given me the idea for the next thing I want to write: A Year of Living Prayerfully, in which I would chronicle a year of going to the most reasonable extreme of organizing my life around the ways of praying described in Live Prayerfully. For a variety of reasons, it would make a lot of sense for me to start that project during the first week of Advent, so I've backed this new deadline up a week from that, and we have Nov. 25.

Oh man. I really don't like deadlines. And I really don't like announcing a self-imposed, not set in stone deadline to the world.