Tuesday, March 3, 2015

IWSG: Beating Deadlines - Before They Beat You!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers whose purpose is to share with and encourage other writers. Writers can express doubts and concerns and offer & receive encouragement and guidance.  IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month.  Be sure to check out other IWSG writers/bloggers here:  IWSG Members

Beating Deadlines...Before they beat you!

deadline - n. the time by which something must be done.

How hard can it be?  You have a deadline, you write, you meet said deadline.  So why do I repeatedly struggle with meeting deadlines?!  I'm an organized person - some might say excessively so.  I have my notes, lists, & a big red X marking important dates on my calendar.  I budget my time, strive to keep a schedule, and yet time and time again, I find my back up against the wall facing a deadline with an unfinished project.  Does this ever happen to you?  How do you manage your deadlines?

I know the short answer to managing deadlines is to put my behind in the chair and write - get it done.  While that sounds easy, it's not always realistic.  As they say, stuff happens! I often find myself falling behind schedule and then stressing over a looming deadline, having to pull an all-nighter...or two.  I'm sure you've all been there, done that, at least once or twice.

Being the List Girl I am, I've worked  on a few strategies to help me meet my deadlines and goals.  This is a work-in-progress list...trial & error, seeing what works for me and what doesn't.

  • Set my own deadline a week ahead (yes, I'm dreaming big) of the real deadline.
  • Plan a writing schedule complete with number of words or chapters needed per day or week to meet my goal & mark it on my calendar
  • Set a writing schedule taking my end goal into consideration
  • Track my writing progress - put it in writing
  • Remove distractions during scheduled writing time
  • Write
It remains to be seen if this will help me meet deadlines consistently and with less last minute stress.  I am writing this article 4 days ahead of the posting deadline.  That's improvement.

What strategies do you use to avoid facing the stressful reality of a looming deadline with an unfinished project?  Any tips for those of us struggling with bringing projects in on time? 

I do realize that one thing needed to make dreams a reality is discipline.  The discipline to set a schedule & stick to it, the discipline to set your behind in the chair & write it, the discipline to sometimes say No, I can't today...I'm writing.  Self-Discipline is a powerful tool for beating deadlines before they beat you!

Happy Writing!


  1. Deadlines always seem to invite procrastination. I like your list! I'm a list girl, too. :)

    Good luck meeting your deadline!

  2. Thanks, Chrys! I'm certainly Determined!

  3. I don't set exact deadlines for my writing, but it's good to have certain goals in mind. Whatever you do you definitely need discipline. Good luck!

  4. It sure take a lot of discipline to keep churning out the pages...and to meet deadlines. Thanks for stopping by Nick!