Thing is, I like having deadlines. I hate them too. And when I have them, I am one of those people who not only has to meet it, I have to be EARLY. It's always been like that. I'm 15 minutes early to everything, and when I'm not, I'm pissed off to no end until I get to my destination. I turned in assignments and projects days early. I like to get things done and not think about them ever. Ever.
I'm also a procrastinator. Which makes no sense, but it's true. When I get an assignment, I put it off for a couple days, then dive in and do it in one go. I get ready to leave five minutes before I walk out the door.
So, with writing, I can't exactly write 70K in one day. Rarely can I do that in one month. But I NEED deadlines or I will never get the book done.
Long opener for my list of how to deal with deadlines.
PLOT: Even if you are not a plotter.
SPRINT: 30 minutes a day. Instead of Facebooking/tweeting/instagramming/pinteresting... WRITE. Even if you don't want to.
SET SMALL WORD COUNT GOALS: If not word count, scene goals. Don't stop in the middle of a scene. Write it out in it's entirety. Chapter goals work too.
KNOW WHERE YOUR MUSE LIVES: Mine lives in the shower. Every time I get stuck, I hop in. I was a wrinkled prune the entire month of December.
GIVE YOURSELF WIGGLE ROOM: Books are not perfect when they are first written. Have a self imposed deadline for your drafts. For your critique partners. For your editor. That stuff takes lots of time and it's the most important time, so make sure there's a lot of it.
BE HONEST: If you can't make a deadline, admit it. Whether it's to yourself or a publisher. You both want a book that will be brilliant, and if rushing it won't make it brilliant, then say so.
GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS: Just unplug the internet. You can Google that one place you need in your manuscript after you've finished the scene.
SKIP AROUND: If you don't know what's going to happen in the next chapter, write a different one.
BE OPEN TO CHANGE: As I'm reading this list, a year ago I would've been, "This is so not helpful" because I was a pantser. I wrote in order. I couldn't put in filler just to move on to the next scene. I was stubborn and said, "This is what works for me and I'm not changing it!" But as I've had to deal with writing several books in a limited amount of time, I found out that trying new methods helped my writing more than anything else.
DON'T STRESS: Reward yourself when you hit your goals, so you get the instant gratification of sitting down and finishing that chapter you didn't want to write while ignoring your Twitter feed. Close your eyes and listen to music. Smile.
REMEMBER WRITING IS FUN: And always should be, even when you are on a deadline :)
And I'd love to hear your methods for meeting your own deadlines. Since I could always use advice on it, lol!
Spell for the day: