~ DEADLINE ~
Writers often work long hours to meet a deadline. *cough* NaNoWriMo *ahem* Camp NaNoWriMo. Perhaps, it’s a self-imposed deadline or one set by your boss, editor, publisher, or others. Regardless of the type of deadline, do you feel that it helps your writing or hinders it?
Sometimes, we tend to lose ourselves in the writing process. We churn out the words like a
When that happens, I take a step back from the project and reassess the situation.
1) What do I hope to gain with the completion of this project?
2) What’s more important, quality or quantity?
3) Does this piece have the right voice?
4) If I were a reader, what would it take to hook me?
5) Could I approach this from a different perspective?
These are just a handful of questions I’d ask myself to make sure I’m not hammering out senseless drivel. As with any story, every word counts. Every chapter, scene, and moment has their purpose to drive the story forward, to compel the reader to turn the page. When we keep that in mind, it makes us reconsider how much pressure we put on ourselves to come up with the final product.
No one I know likes the pressure of a deadline. However, I find it a necessary tool to keep me on my toes and to ensure that I’m mindful of the message I’m trying to convey. A perfect example of this are my recent writing Sprints over in the Savvy Authors Chat room and on Twitter. A group of writers come together and write for an hour, posting our word counts in the end. While it’s not the same as a project deadline, the motivation is the same. I want to get as much out before time’s up. While I’m typing away, I’m also asking myself questions to make sure that what I’m writing has direction. The sense of accomplishment at the end of the hour does wonders for the writing process, as a whole. Sometimes the pressure, if we work with it and not against it, is a good thing.
I try not to think about the looming deadline ahead. Rather, I do my best to stay motivated and imagine typing those final words, and in doing so, find myself more confident, focused, and eager to begin
How about you? Do deadlines pressure or motivate you and your writing process?
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