Dealing With Deadlines

Deadlines are a crucial part of writing. Articles, proposals, rewrites, craft projects, short stories, etc. will need to be in the hands of your editor or publisher by certain dates. It’s rare for an editor to tell you, “Oh…take your time.” In the publishing industry, time is money. If you’re serious about writing, you will need to be on top of your deadlines.

As long as you constantly work on your piece, you don’t have to worry a lot about single projects. But it becomes challenging when you have two, three, or even four deadlines looming in the future.

The secret to meeting due dates is time management. You must plot out each project, making sure you give yourself enough time to tackle research, rough drafts, and rewrites. Say, for example, you have a book proposal that is due in three months. Print out monthly calendars for that time frame and calculate approximately how many days/weeks you need to find resources and research the information. Mark the calendar with those dates.

Next, figure out how many days/weeks you need to outline and then write up a rough draft, again allowing time for additional research. Also allow for editing the roughs and compiling a final draft. Mark everything onto the calendar. You can schedule other projects, too, like a magazine article or a chapter for a fiction novel, color-coding them so you can see at a glance if you’re on track.

Set up your weekly schedule to include research and writing time each day, allowing for appointments and other commitments. Give yourself breaks throughout so you won’t suffer from burnout.

Managing your time effectively is the key to dealing with deadlines. Make sure you plan appropriately so you can meet with success.

One Response

  1. Catherine, I’m going to use the calendar idea for the book proposal an agent has asked for. Thanks for the info!


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