Thursday, March 10, 2011

Deadlines Don't Have to be Damning

Writing for Tangled Fiction has taught me a lot in terms of character and plot structure, but also self-discipline. The only time I'd ever written under a deadline was when I'd gotten my editor's notes for Parallel, my short story that was published in the Rebel Moon anthology, and that was a piece of cake compared to TF deadlines.

Twenty-four to forty-eight hours is not a lot of time to come up with something out of the blue, especially when it has to match what's already written. And if you aren't in a writing mood, it's that much worse. I'm all for stepping away from the manuscript, distancing yourself until you're in a more relaxed state of mind and you can let the creativity flow, but sometimes that isn't an option. Sometimes you're faced with a deadline. And if you aren't burdened by deadlines now, someday you will be!

I've written things that have come off as harried, and I've written things I've been much more proud of. I wish that I had some magical piece of advice that would give you exactly what you need to prevail in the face of evil thought-crushing deadlines, but I don't. All I can say is that deadlines don't have to be damning. Do not fear the deadline! I think it's a great idea to condition yourself now so that when that five or however-many-page editorial letter comes, you're ready for it. You can do this. You can write something great even when your brain says you can't.

And if YOU have that magical piece of advice, I am so ready to hear it.


  1. I actually work best under deadlines! For me it's the sitting down and actually starting working that presents the problem. Once I get going I'm good.

  2. You're one of those lucky people who works well under pressure, lol! I've gotten much better at it, I think, with practice. It's still stressful at times, like now when my daughter's birthday party is tomorrow, nearly 700 miles away. Better go pack!

  3. I'm with Lisa--I love deadlines and feel I do my best work under pressure. If there's not an external deadline, I'll make one up myself and stick to it.

  4. I give myself deadlines for each novel. I don't always make them but I come close. It helps me keep my focus!

  5. Giving yourself deadlines is great! I try to set attainable goals for novel writing too but if I fall short, I know that it will be okay because nobody, right now, is depending on me to meet them. I'm writing strictly for me.

    I claim there will be consequences if I don't meet my goals, but I'm not very good at disciplining myself. Yet.


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