My deadline is my friend, not my enemy. And my bedroom is my writing sanctuary. If the word “deadline” tweaks you out, choose another one. I call it inspiration.
I take a pride in being able to meet a deadline and I really hope that the strategies below will help all writers meet their deadlines too. I have set my own deadline and then have announced it to the world. This keeps me honest, and there is a great deal of build-up to my latest work.
Here’s what you should — and shouldn’t — do to meet your deadline without losing your mind.
Even if your client is flexible, set a deadline that you consider inflexible.
Without a sense of urgency, nothing would get done. I realize that there are times when the deadlines I impose on myself are not my client’s but my own, and regardless if it is my psyche breathing down my neck or that of the client waiting for me to send them their work, it inspires me to get it done.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short by Not Reaching Your Daily Word Count Goal
Some days are simply hard. Some days I have been looking at my word count over and over until I get that coveted 1,000 words. The words won’t come out, the ideas dry up, and I am left with a blank screen. When I get to this place, I free write until I get the word count even if it doesn’t fit with the novel.
Procrastination is your worst enemy. Do not put off now what you could do NOW. I can always come back to it, and usually when I type out garbage I think about it all day until something gives and I have something to write the next day. The point is, . Push on until you have something even if you have to sit there for longer than you had planned. “The only thing that will get your book written is bum glue and fingers moving.”- Bill O’Hanlon
As you begin, keep in mind this idea, “Don’t get it right, get it written.”
Too often, writers obsess about how to begin, trying to grasp the proper opening and agonize to the point of obsession, ultimately playing the biggest head game with themselves that they talk themselves out of working. If you can’t commit a thought to paper, how do you expect to be profitable? Get writing and worry about editing and honing your thoughts later.
Get in the zone – Turn OFF Internet
Internet use and phone use will keep you from reaching your daily goals. Unless you are doing research for your novel, turn the internet off. Don’t be distracted. That means no social media, no email, no videos of cute puppies — not one peek! The time you’ve scheduled for writing is ONLY for writing. It’s not for chores, or to answer “just one” question, or for planning tomorrow’s meeting. Once sacrosanct writing time is over, you can then give other tasks your full attention.
Do not interrupt your writing process with overthinking.
Oftentimes, a new writer will want every single point they discuss to be examined and broken down to the nth degree. This is a recipe for disaster. Since people nowadays tend to suffer from ADD, you must write in a way that will leave the reader wanting more, which inevitably leads them to click to the next page, fill out a contact form, etc. Avoid overthinking and the agonizing that comes with it and realize the ability to stay on task.
I often write after all of my family have gone to bed
If you are trying to succeed as a writer, you cannot write from the comfort of your bed, or while sitting on the couch watching TV in your pajamas. You will never meet a deadline if you have a casual attitude toward your work environment. I find that my best writing is done in a place that is devoid of noise.
Discover your ideal writing environment and try to write in this environment every day. My bedroom is my writing sanctuary. I am close enough so that my husband and son can find me if they need me without my cell phone ringing and I can have the peace and quiet I need to get finished with my novel.
When you reach that daily goal, do something for yourself that is self-pampering.
Meeting deadlines is a skill that’s worth developing, especially for writers and editors who have to be self-directed, and want to be working at peak productivity. When you’ve managed your deadlines well, you can knock off work at the end of the day with a sense of peace.
Don’t forget to reward yourself for finishing daily deadlines with small pleasures and then give yourself something extravagant when finishing the main deadline. I usually ride my bike and after that take a long bath with essential oils or just enjoy my favorite music.
Author & Content Marketing Strategist, Passionate about Writing, Delicious bites, Yoga and Biking.
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