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D is for Deadlines

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge–blogging every day in the month of April (except Sundays!) with each letter of the alphabet.

Most writers face deadlines–whether self-imposed, because of contests or calls, or given to them by their agents and editors. Deadlines can make you sweat, especially if you still have a lot of work to do as they approach. They can also be wonderful, motivating things. Even when you’re tearing your hair out, here are the reasons they can be a blessing:

D is for Deadline, but also Discipline: It’s easy as a writer to also be a slacker. Writing is wonderful, but so many other things in life pull your attention away. Some are important: your day job, kids, family and friends, bills, errands, pets. Some are completely indulgent: a new episode of your favorite TV show, a movie, a new level on Candy Crush, a new recipe that you can’t wait to try out. Deadlines make you put your butt in the chair and write. It’s so easy to find reasons not to write–but deadlines give you a very important reason to stop dawdling and put your nose back to the grindstone.

Deadlines help you organize: If  you have multiple deadlines–a contest entry, a short story call, your next book is due to your publisher–which do you work on first? You can feel harried and scattered. Deadlines help you decide. Which needs to go out first? Second? Deadlines help you put projects in order of importance.

Deadlines make your writing a real job: If there’s something at stake, a time limit, then it’s work that has to be done. Writing is no longer a hobby but a job that has to be completed within a certain time frame, just like real work.

Deadlines help you focus: It’s much easier to get the world out of the way when you know you have to produce something by a certain time. You can say more easily, “Not today, I’ve got something to write!”

How about you? Do you like having deadlines, or do they make you want to scream? How many deadlines are looming on your horizon right now?

Megan Morgan View All

Urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.

21 thoughts on “D is for Deadlines Leave a comment

  1. I have a love-hate relationship with deadlines. I don’t like having them, but they do force me to finally sit down and finish a project. And it can’t be a self-imposed deadline because I’m not very good about holding myself accountable!

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  2. Deadlines do make me write. I have a self-imposed deadline to get my work back to my editor today. Going to be a long night, since we’re so busy, but it’s worth it to get it done!

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  3. I wish I had deadlines to motivate me. I’m seeking them out now because I know I lack the discipline self deadlines provide.

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    • You could try entering contests, or doing NaNoWriMo, maybe? Sometimes magazines and publishers put out calls for stories that have to be in by a certain time, too. Good luck!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Deadlines are everywhere in the world. Some are artificial and weird, but others are important to help you get the job, grade, whatever that you need to continue on in your chosen path. I’m sure authors can’t just ignore deadlines set by their publishers, especially if it’s a contractual obligation. I’m a habitual procrastinator and do things at the last minute, but having a deadline at least lets me know what that last minute is!

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  5. Deadlines have always helped me be disciplined. Even though my blog is all new I am trying to get as many A to Z posts done before the deadline. Doing things last minute is not of my liking. At school a teacher once told my class to finish everything a few days in advance, in case something else comes up in between. I kept to that rule and always fixed my deadlines earlier than they actually were, my university work was always handed in early that way.
    I don’t like deadlines, at least not the official ones.
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge and the 22 other deadlines to go.

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    • Very good advice from your teacher! I don’t like doing things last minute either…in fact, I wrote all these posts in February and they’re all queued up ready to go! I think giving yourself deadlines also means you have time to complete other things.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The only deadlines I have are those I impose on myself. I have a seven-day schedule to which I blog, and I take part in some challenges (most notably, last year, NaNoWriMo). That apart, I rely on my internal critic to keep me honest.

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  7. Hi Megan,
    Perhaps it’s because I’m not a full-time writer (although I feel one in my head) but I don’t fear deadlines. I almost never put them onto myself nor my work. I don’t recall who said this: “I love deadlines and the whooshing sound they make when passing” (or something along those lines). Maybe I’ll get to the point where I find myself in pursuit of them.
    Until then I consider them as lines that are dead, and when something’s dead there’s not much to worry about. Unless you’re into zombies, but that’s for Z.

    Happy blogging!
    Paul

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    • Oh, I like my deadlines. They give me motivation and focus. The publishing world is full of them so I use them to help me stay disciplined. Nothing wrong with being relaxed about it, though!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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