We all have deadlines in our lives. I remember, during my university days, all my essays would fall due at the same time. The week or so before the deadlines was crazy as I grabbed every spare minute I could find to work on my essays. I have deadlines at work, with certain tasks that need to be completed by the end of the day. I also know two or three hours before my work day ends whether or not I'm ahead or behind on my schedule. I'm also a great believer in the old saying 'Make hay while the sun shines' because you never know what disaster may strike that throws out your carefully planned schedule.
I'm yet to receive my first publishing contract and enter the world of published author deadlines. I have author friends who talk about how a deadline on a contracted book can be all consuming, and their lives revolve around getting the book finished and submitted to their editor. They often juggle multiple book contracts and have revisions to complete whilst they're working on their current book. Deadline pressure isn't necessarily a last minute phenomenon and they can feel the pressure to write a certain number of words per day or week for many months before their book deadline.
Every three months I undertake a 'Book in a Week' (BIAW) challenge with one of my writing groups. I set a target word count goal for the week and focus all my time and energy on achieving my writing goal. BIAW can give unpublished authors an insight into what life is like for published authors working on a deadline. I've learned to be self-disciplined, organized and I set aside time to achieve my daily word count and self-imposed deadline.
I've heard writers pre-cook meals, ignore housework and clear their schedules to meet their writing deadlines. I set the alarm on my phone so I don't miss important appointments or lose track of the time and forget to collect my kids from school. I write a weekly 'To Do' list so I can manage and keep on top of all the writing and other commitments in my life.
Do you have any survival tips on how to manage the various deadlines in your life? I'd love to hear your thoughts.