Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Big D-word


Don't shudder. I know deadlines can be scary. I know they're intimidating. I know they make life difficult. But, they can be a very useful tool for writers.

I live in a world of deadlines. I do. I'm a reporter. I have hard deadlines all the time. Four a week, to be specific. And you know what? I'm a better writer and get more done because of it. It's always the stories I have on deadline that I get done and the ones that I have leeway that don't. (I know, shocking, right?)

But here's the deal. You need deadlines. Without that threat looming over your head, it's hard to get things done. Trust me – I'm the queen of procrastination. I put off everything I don't have to. I make lists of things in order of their pressing need. And very rarely do I finish everything on my lists.

That's why NaNoWriMo is such a helpful tool. If you haven't heard of it, you should check it out. The whole point of NaNo is to have a deadline – have a kick in the pants to get things done. I always do well writing during NaNo because of that deadline. Right now, I'm floundering sadly like a rock in a pond.

I need deadlines to get myself to do what needs to be done. So that's why I'm setting a chapter per day deadline for myself on my WIP. (My chapters are all relatively short, so that shouldn't be that hard.) I'm announcing it to you guys so that you'll keep me honest on my deadline. I'll do the same for you, if you have deadlines too. Let me know what you do when you want to make sure to get things done.


Jessie Harrell said...

ugh - I so need deadlines too! take now at work for example... procrastination city b/c there's nothing due like RIGHT NOW. Ugh!

Annerb said...

@ Jessie - I know! That's exactly how I am today. It's getting hard on me today, even though there's stuff I know I should be doing.

Erin said...

A chapter a day sounds like a good deadline for yourself! Totally do-able. So, we should see a post from you next Tuesday telling us that you have 7 new chapters written (5 if you only write on weekdays), right? I'll keep an eye out for your progress update!

Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

Annerb said...

@Erin - Eeep! Now I'm all scared that I won't be able to meet that. *buckles in* I hope nothing drastic happens at work that will keep me from writing this week. The downside of being a reporter is sometimes things come up I didn't plan for (and eat into my personal time). Next Tuesday. Okay then.

Sarah Robertson said...

*lol* Is this where I give you crap for not making your deadline? :P No, deadlines are awesome though. I think one of the reasons I met mine was that I would be taking a forced break from writing though--and who wants to come back after several weeks and write the last chapter. Pah! Better to finish it all at once!

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