FWIS: deadlines

FWIS (from where i stand) is a monthly feature i’m doing with jessica corra and bria quinlan. all three of us are YA writers in different places in our journeys. (check out their links for this month’s FWIS from their points of view.)

today’s topic: deadlines

all of my writing deadlines are self-imposed which makes them more fluid than firm. i’m not proud to admit this especially since procrastination isn’t something i’m prone to doing.

(when i was growing up, my main motivator was my super smart older siblings. their brains naturally gave way to straight A’s while i had to work a bit harder for my B+s. our career paths have taken us down different roads, so they’re no longer available as bench markers…)

… and so, one way for me to circumvent this is by making writing a team sport.

how do you do that, you ask. isn’t the keyboard crowded with more than one set of hands, you say. is this some sort of tag team thing, you wonder. let me set the record straight. when i say “team sport” i mean that i’ve taken to transporting myself and my laptop out in public and have other writer friends join me. there’s something about looking across the table and seeing someone else diligently working. it’s a great motivator.

speaking of sports, i also take part in something called writing sprints with bria and her writing crew. they’ve very kindly allowed me access to the secret room where we chat and sprint (aka write as fast as we can for 20 minutes) and report in on our progress and chat and rinse and repeat.

the hope is that by doing all that, i’ll get my habits in order so that when the real deadlines kick in, my discipline will be in full force.


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16 thoughts on “FWIS: deadlines”

  1. Oh, Abby knows how much I hate being late! (parks the car and jogs to dinner because of traffic late)

    So, it’s no surprise I love deadlines…OR that with both have a sports analogy.

    Abby, I really need to get revisions done this week… So I’m going to need my full brain!

    1. deadlines are your friend. it’s a good thing you’ve got so many swirling around you right now. it’s like ONE GIANT PARTY. *passes out red solo cups*

  2. Sprints! Yes! I do two half hour sprints and bam, there’s my 2k for the day. I can be done “working” by 9AM most days if I minimize my web browser. *SO* effective. Love the team sport talk – I get so insular when I’m working I forget about what great resources and motivators friends can be!

    1. so you’re a morning person, eh? and yes, isn’t it amazing how the simple act of breaking down the writing into smaller, bite sized pieces makes it all seem more manageable?

      and yes, friends can be great motivators — now i just need to get over my fear of letting them read what i’ve written….but that’s another topic for another day.

  3. writing sprints eh? i might need to do something like that to get myself over the hurdle of the last 7K of my current WiP. the end is in sight, so why haven’t i crossed the finish line yet? gah!

    1. sprints work wonders. 20 minutes is short enough that you’ll actually sit down and do it, but long enough to get the juices flowing. so that’s when you sign on for sprint number 2! and 3. and 4. and so on and so forth.

      karla, set your egg timer and WRITE.

    2. Karla – I have a great piggie timer (I still wish I’d gotten the cow one that moooooos when you’re done)

      Or, you can download one to the computer – you can do anything for 20 mins, right!

        1. Bed, Bath & Beyond – Maybe I’ll go back and get the cow one as a “good job turning this book in” prize — I’ll have a whole barnyard by the time I’m published!

  4. I love deadlines. I NEED deadlines, otherwise I would procrastinate forever and nothing would ever get done. It’s great that you’ve found a way to give yourself deadlines (or at least to create a network of accountability, which really is the more important thing). Writing sprints FTW!

    Ok, I can’t resist, I have to post this quote too:

    “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” — Douglas Adams

    1. that douglas adams quote makes me laugh. thanks for reposting that!

      and i love the new definition of deadline: a network of accountability. or is that an analogy? or an onomonepia? what am i, an english major?

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