Deadlines. The bane of every writer’s existence. “A necessary evil.” “My nemesis.”
I talked to an author who changed the internal time clock on his computer just so he could have three extra hours, claiming he was writing on the West coast (USA) instead of where his office was (East coast USA).
Writing Without a Deadline (Deadlines Born)
Not everyone, however, is writing under a deadline. How does an unpublished or uncontracted author write without a deadline?
This takes discipline. An unnatural discipline for some creatives. I’ve heard of authors using their friends as accountability partners. Or their spouse (be careful with that technique…) Or an incentive like food or fun.
An Indie author (publishing independently) is technically without a deadline. So how do you go about it?
(Feel free to comment below with your methods)
Writing WITH a Deadline (Deadlines Made)
I’ve read many writers who eschew deadlines or simply ignore them saying that “one cannot rush art.” At the same time a contractual agreement, with a deadline, is just that; an agreement. You are responsible to meet your obligations. Of course if there are circumstances that change, most publishers are willing to extend. But there are limits to that grace period.
At the very least, try not to have a cavalier attitude toward a deadline. Not everyone can be George R. R. Martin who said, “If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”
Discipline, planning, situational awareness, fasting from social media, scheduled writing retreats, daily word count goals, and more are all methods that I’ve had writers tell me about.
What methods do you use to make your deadlines?
Quotes about Deadlines
“A goal is a dream with a deadline” Napolean Hill
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Douglas Adams
“Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.” Rick Riordan
“I am one of those people who thrive on deadlines, nothing brings on inspiration more readily than desperation.” Harry Shearer
“Deadlines aren’t bad. They help you organize your time. They help you set priorities. They make you get going when you might not feel like it.” Harvey Mackay