Goals and deadlines

I have a natural tendency toward procrastination. I’d much rather spend my time imagining a plot or coming up with some interesting idea for a character and their backstory than sit down and get to work. Being organized is something I have to work at. I think it’s the reason I’ve become obsessed with calendars- to the point of it being compulsory. I make endless lists and obsess about checking things off. It’s necessary for me to get anything done.

Lots of writers I talk to seem to feel the same way. I wonder if it goes hand in hand with having an inclination to write- to invent stories, or to catalog the world as we see it into words. That idea makes sense to me.

Structure in your writing life can be freeing. Sounds like a contradiction, but when you have a deadline approaching and are forced to sit down and work, you get much more done. If you can set out a writing schedule it can help you commit to your writing: you’ve decided that a particular time of day is your time to write. Doing so can take away the worry of finding time to write and allow you the luxury of spending that energy on your writing itself.

If you have trouble sticking to self-imposed deadlines, then you might want to try a book writing plan (there are lots of great books out there that give you the structure you seek). Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt is a great one. You can also try doing the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge- it’s a great way to commit to deadline.

Learn more about Victoria Schmidt’s Book in a Month

buy Book in a Month (on sale at WritersDigestShop.com)

SAVE 40% or more on select titles at the WritersDigestShop.com Valentine’s Day Sale


About seescottwrite

I'm a writer and editor. I've worked for Writer's Digest, HOW and Popular Woodworking and have authored and co-authored several books including "The Monster Spotter's Guide to North America," "The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook," and "The Writer's Book of Matches."
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2 Responses to Goals and deadlines

  1. Christy Gail says:

    I am a born procrastinator, but I have recently started organizing my writing time in a more structured format, and I agree- it is freeing! You don’t sit down anymore and stare at a blank page because you already have a plan and you know what you want to accomplish. I think goals and deadlines are critical organizational tools for the business side of writing.

  2. I’m exactly the same way! The pressure of a deadline is what motivates me, and it’s been like that since college. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve become much better at squeezing my writing into the small windows of time I have between working and traveling for my real job. Being able to schedule my writing in this manner has helped me become more productive.

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