Tell me: WHY do multiple writing deadlines always fall at the same time?
The pressure was on for me to finalize three submissions to the highest possible standard …
- Write and submit ten pages of my novel to my writing group Write Links for critique
- Submit a short story to a writing competition with a mental health theme from the perspective of a twelve year old girl.
- Return rewrites and response queries to my editor for an upcoming novel.
PLUS my diary over flowed with to-do lists.
I sent out a passionate plea on Facebook. ‘Help me!’
‘Prioritise. Put them in order. See if you can negotiate an extension on the lowest priority to give yourself some wiggle room. Start on the highest priority with a goal in mind. Switch it to a competition with yourself, rather than a race against the clock to give you a sense of empowerment. If all else fails, call in a friend! Good luck!’
Alison’s astute answer inspired me to write a blog that would empower me to cope with future deadline crises. I requested four high achievers to share their tricks, secrets and expertise. So I and fellow writers DON’T suffer the agonizing anxiety of writing deadlines.
How to Murder Writing Deadlines
‘Inform your family that you have a deadline. Switch off all those open tabs on your computer, one thing at a time! Have frequent breaks and get sufficient sleep, you’ll be more productive when awake. Learn to say ‘no’ at times, you don’t have to say yes to every deadline, appointment or social engagement, don’t try to be superhuman!’
- Calendarise: the actual deadline date but also prior dates by which to accomplish set parts of the project.
- Don’t try to achieve everything in one week.
- Meal plan! Not having to waste time and energy at the last minute does wonders for concentration and focus.
- Great organizer – use an A5 Filofax with week to a page, so you can see weekly deadlines. Or I month to a page, for a quick glance, and daily ‘to do’ lists.
- ‘To do’ computer screensaver – Add ‘Stickies’ as task items.
- Family back-up team – Teenagers are great with social media, graphic design, and customer service. No family workers? Team up with authors.
HOW do you cope with writing deadlines?
What are your coping skills?
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