Wednesday, March 5, 2014

IWSG Post – Deadline nightmare

IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is a wonderful online group for writers where we can learn from each other and also share our doubts, fears and insecurities as well as support and encourage other writers. IWSG is the brainchild of our Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh. IWSG members post on the first Wednesday of every month. The IWSG website is a wonderful resource for writers.

One of my main worries is meeting deadlines. I nearly drop dead when I am faced with deadlines. For the short stories I had contributed for 3 Penguin Anthologies, I ended up writing all the 3 stories only in the last few days of the deadline.

A similar thing happens when I am given a deadline for my newspaper features. If I am given a week, then for the first four days I am busy doing other things. On day 5, I start jotting down points for the feature. Day 6 has me writing furiously. On day 7, I rewrite several times, revise, polish and click on the send button.

I have been trying to get rid of this dirty habit by getting more organized. I feel writing a rough draft on day 1, will work wonders for my writing, as then I will get more time to polish it. But, on the other hand I feel maybe with the threat of a deadline looming over my head I write better.

I feel scared whenever I think of meeting deadlines for my books. There is always this fear that I may not meet the deadline. And there is another fear: what if I don’t write a good book even if I have met the deadline?

Does anyone else face this deadline nightmare like me? Or are the other writers more organized and work in a systematic way? How do you all tackle deadlines? Please share your advice with us.

P.S. My next post will be on 21st March. 

28 comments:

  1. I think all of us feel deadline pressures. It's only worse for some of us, as we need to complete writing certain things without any deadlines enforced by others (publishers, editors, etc). But then, that also enables me to write only when I want to.

    Pressure can be good - it makes us do more. But we should be careful not to compromise the quality due to that. I am guiltly of doing that, many times.

    DestinationInfinity.Org

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  2. Deadlines are a necessary evil i every walk of life Rachna and raise the blood pressure even among most organized.For me working against deadline works in every area except writing as it is more a fun activity:)

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  3. I'm not published so don't have deadlines yet. But the thought of writing a book on a contract deadline terrifies me. So you're not alone in that fear.

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  4. I tend to wait until the last minute too. I tell myself I won't, but invariably that's how it ends up. Wish I knew a way to change it (let me know if you find one).

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  5. I have lots of deadlines by March 10th. But the important stuff is finished. Now its all the little things that add up to one large mountain.

    Good luck to you and see you when you get back.

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  6. Maybe you just work better under pressure?
    I'm so paranoid about deadlines that I do start immediately and finish very early because I know that if I don't, I'll put it off and miss the deadline.

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  7. I'm terrible with deadlines. I do pretty well if I keep loose goals, but when it comes to a deadline, I'm always pushing the limits. It was worse when I was in school and had to write 10+ page papers the day before they were due.

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  8. More organized?! I wish. But no, I have set myself deadlines and gone past them, and sometimes that's ok. My first book I forced through to my deadline and I had to clean up some mistakes I missed afterwards . . . very embarrassing. This time around, my deadline became flexible to make sure I have my book truly polished before release.
    Best wishes with all your writing!

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  9. I agree with Rahul that deadlines are necessary. I know I work much more productively if I know a deadline is looming than if there is no deadline at all, because, alas, I am a dawdler at heart. I do get nervous as the deadline approaches, yes. But I work better with deadlines than without.

    I'm sure the books and articles you turn in are good ones, Rachna. I've read some of your stories and two of your books.

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  10. I have deadlines and jump on thing immediately. The drawback is because I finish much sooner, I add more. Often my day is consumed with getting things done before the deadline.

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  11. I am someone who gets started immediately on a project with a deadline because it causes so much stress to not have things done as the deadline looms.

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  12. I have tried so many different methods to fix my own deadline habits. Nothing seems to help. The best I can do is set little, halfway point deadlines to make sure I've at least started.

    -James

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  13. I think a lot of us have a tendency to procrastinate. I know I do. If I didn't face a deadline some things would probably never get done. Right now the only deadlines I face are getting my blog posts up on schedule. I do pretty well with those though I still sometimes wait until the night before they're scheduled to go up.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  14. I always say that a looming deadline is a great motivator...
    I'm not too bad with deadlines... it just depends...
    HAPPY WORLD READ ALOUD DAY!
    Writer In Transit

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  15. I go through the same processors as you, Rachna. Deadlines definitely help to give me focus.

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  16. Deadlines can be scary. And for this reason alone, I love my blog. No deadline, no time limit, no word limit. Freebird!
    :)

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  17. I wish I had those deadline fears! So remember that the next time deadline fear consumes you. There are unpublished writers like me out there who want that deadline pressure because it means publication! Good luck with your deadlines. You'll meet them AND what you're writing is great!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  19. deadlines....dead..line. it's a line that can cause the chaos, but don't let it. kick the line and do your best!

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  20. I'm a serious deadline procrastinator too. At my day job, or home life, or writing; give me a long deadline and I'll push my start all the way to crisis point. Maybe I just work better under pressure, lol.

    ......dhole

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  21. I love deadlines ... it's just the getting there that trips me up :)

    PS... you should try Twitter one day... 140 characters max.. you can't go wrong :)

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  22. Hi friends, I am realizing that procrastinating is a writerly bad habit as is fear of deadlines. We need to combat both these diseases.

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  23. With my first book I would submit things on the deadline day or the day before. I procrastinated or worked to the point that I didn't want to let it go just yet, in case there were errors. Now I'm more immediate. I'm glad I procrastinate less.

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  24. I am so bad at meeting deadlines - I'd be especially bad at starting a story from scratch for a deadline. Usually, with edits, I do them as soon and as quickly as possible and have them back way before they're due. If I waited, I'd miss it.

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  25. You're a writer, you just have to massage the truth to help you deal with deadline:) I prefer to call them "goals" or "guidelines." This makes them much less scary to me:)

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  26. of course yes, but the best thing about dead line is, one of its ends is lose, easy and enjoyable :P

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  27. This will probably sound annoying, but I love deadlines. I thrive on them. They make me push harder and get serious. I'm very organized, so I make to-do lists and then pace everything out so I get finished in time. I would make a timeline of all the steps (outline, draft, edit round 1 - ?, final polish, etc.) and how many days you need for each step/stage.

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  28. On one hand I like deadlines, for they help me focus and write more efficiently. On the other, I can procrastinate with the best of them (like you!) and really stress myself out. Working on this as well. :)

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