Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Those dreaded deadlines - WriYe

The Looming Doom - Deadlines
We've all had deadlines to face - whether it be yearly like WriYe, monthly like NaNo, or weekly like LWS. How do you face your deadlines? Any advice to help meet them? Any advice on what to do when you miss them?

I find that deadlines come in two varieties - ones that are very soon and ones that are a while away. Once I know when something is due I can handle it appropriately.

• I make a list of what I need to do - the overall target and any smaller parts of that task. For example, if I have a story to write then completing the story is my overall goal and to do that I have to complete so many chapters or words. If it's for submission somewhere then it will also need proofreading for spelling and typos, then editing, then proofreading again.
• Make the targets realistic. I am not going to be able to produce a 10k story in a week if I have meetings every night and I'm working a full time job. However, I could probably produce a 250 word piece of flash which would only require me to find 30 minutes of writing time each day instead of three-plus hours. If you consistantly set targets that you don't hit then it's easy to get demoralised.
• Finally, once all the lists and targets are set out, prioritise what needs doing first and be prepared to move things around if necessary. If you're writing to meet a deadline for a competition you really want to enter, it's going to be more important than the poem you've had kicking around for the past month that's just for fun. And the school project that has to be in at the end of the week has to take precidence over the competition entry, because sometimes life gets in the way of writing.

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