Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Meet Deadlines and Remain Sane

This was another guest post as part of my blog tour. I shared a few tips on how to manage your workload. I find it very applicable now that I'm more than halfway through NaNoWriMo.

I work as both a novelist and freelance article writer. This means twice the number of deadlines I have to meet. I’m also a mother to two very wild boys under the age of five. When I look at my schedule some days, my first instinct is to crawl under the covers and hide. However, with some good organization, you can get deadlines met and not lose your mind.

Tune It All Out
I have a hard time focusing on my work when I’m logged onto a computer. In the middle of working, I’ll stop to check my email, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads accounts. You’re not going to miss much if you don’t look at your social networks every ten minutes! Try to keep your internet browser closed when you’re working and create set times to check it. You’ll find you’re much more efficient and meet deadlines without cutting it down to the wire.

One of my most annoying qualities is that I’m a “yes” person. I have a hard time turning down projects or telling someone I’m unable to help them out. If you have a deadline, the work needs to be your top priority. Spreading yourself too thin will only make you crazy and affect the quality of your writing.

Get Unstuck
When you’re hung up on a scene of your book, it can bring everything to a scratching halt. Instead of trying to work out the scene, skip it. Writing additional scenes may help you work out the plot and dialogue naturally. If you’re looking for inspiration, consider going back and re-reading parts of your manuscript. It may spark an idea or help you recapture the character’s voice.

Ask for Help
If you have other commitments, don’t be afraid to ask for help as you try to reach that deadline. For instance, having your mother come over for a few hours to watch your kids while you work can make a huge difference.

If you absolutely can’t meet that deadline, talk to your editor. See if something can be worked out. Life is crazy and things come up. Be honest and give a reasonable timeframe on when you can have the work to them.   


  1. A tip I'll share really quickly: Sometimes, if you re-write the last paragraph, you'll find it gives you new direction and open more doorways of possibility. :) Great post today. Very good advice here. WRITE ON!