Sometime back, I read in an author’s interview that a writer gets the maximum time to write the first book. After a contract is signed with a publisher the author is under pressure for the second book. So, the only book a writer writes without pressure is the first one. The first book also takes the longest time to get written as it’s that time the writer is trying to find his/her voice, get the story in shape, get a grip on his or her writing, get familiar with story and character arcs etc.
Working under pressure, trying to meet a deadline is my biggest fear. I get anxiety attacks when the word deadline is mentioned. And I also have the bad habit of procrastinating. I keep postponing things, until I have to do it in a hurry. Whenever I am commissioned to write a story for a Penguin Anthology, though I get weeks to write the story, it’s always in the last week of the deadline I rush to write that story down with the clock ticking against me. Though I am trying to get rid of that habit, it still troubles me.
Sometimes I try to convince myself with the thought that instead of building pressure and reducing my creativity, deadlines may work in the opposite way, that under pressure I may produce the best and my fastest work. This thought cheers me up. Writers/authors all over the world work under deadlines, so why not me.
Does working under deadlines make you break out into a sweat? Do you feel capable of handling pressure of a ticking clock? Have any of you written a book for a publisher in a short span of time. I would love your advice on working under pressure, on meeting deadlines.