Sunday, March 4, 2012

Writing on a Deadline

Do you ever find yourself dragging your feet on a writing project?  Whether it's a blog story or a novel, sometimes it can be tough to get it done by a specified deadline.  I'm feeling the pressure a little bit as I write this post ahead of schedule.  Writing one blog story per day was easy.  Two, a little more work.  And a week's worth of anecdotes for both blogs before going on a blog vacation, ouch!  There is one benefit, similar to playing lightning chess with my brother-in-law.  The pressure of pushing the clock sharpens the mind.  Here's some ideas to help you write on a deadline:

  1. Maintain a list of story ideas to call upon if you hit a writer's block to avoid wasting time thinking about a topic.
  2. Get Dragon Dictate 2.0 and learn how to write a hands-free story.  Beware, there's a learning curve.
  3. Ask other writers to critique your work and set up an online site to post your work for review.
  4. Allocate writing time to your most alert time of the day increase your writing pace.
  5. Take ten-minute breaks every two hours and do some quick exercises to get the blood flowing.
I played so many games of lightning chess that I got used to the pressure of the clock and learned to see patterns.  Writing is the same.  When you put your characters in danger, use the clock to look for a quick way out of danger and write down your ideas speedily.  Trust your instincts.  This takes practice, however, once you adjust to a quickened writing pace, you will be able to think clearly and efficiently.  Your publisher will appreciate your ability to manage the clock and deliver your manuscripts on time.

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