Friday, June 9, 2017

How Do You Feel About Deadlines?



Happy Friday, friends! Shannon here. 

FIRST OF ALL, thank you so much to those participating in our first ever Go Teen Writers Instagram challenge. We've been having a ton of fun and it is never, ever too late to jump into a challenge. For more information, click here or visit us on Instagram.

We also want to thank you all for making our summer panels so much fun. We are learning so much about you all as we read through your answers. 

If you're just joining us, we've decided to do something new for the months of June, July, and August. We're taking turns answering writing questions, just as if we're sitting on a panel at a fancy writing conference. The best part is, we'd love you to answer the questions as well.

You ready for today's question?


How do you feel about deadlines? Do you impose them on yourself?

 


Stephanie Morrill
Deadlines and I are okay. They don’t stress me out too much, but part of that is I know how much work I can get done, and I don’t allow deadlines that I don’t think I can meet. Some seasons they pile up, but mostly I do well with it.

The deadlines I set for myself usually revolve around my kids’ school calendar. Something like, “I want to finish this first draft by the time school is out for the summer.” Or, “I want to finish edits before spring break.” As much as I can, I try to build my schedule so that I can really enjoy and maximize the usefulness of being away from my book while my kids are out of school.

 
Jill Williamson
Deadlines are important to keep me on task. For the past several books, I’ve found myself dealing with deadlines that were too tight—and part of that was life circumstances adding stress and time constraints that I never could have anticipated. But even if I didn’t have a publisher or an agent giving me a deadline, I’d still give myself deadlines because they help me stay on schedule. I have a general idea of how long it takes me to write a book, so I will make an estimate and choose a deadline, then I’ll count up the workdays on the calendar until that deadline, then divide my estimated work count by the number of workdays, and that will give me a daily goal. This keeps me on track both in making sure I write or edit at least X amount of words per workday, but it also keeps me from living in work-a-holic mode, because I’m the kind of person who could sit at that computer all day and there would always be more I could do. Since I know that’s not healthy or wise, having an end goal helps me know when I’ve worked enough and it’s okay to stop for the day.


Shannon Dittemore
It’s a love/hate relationship, I think. I definitely write faster when I’m on a deadline and there’s an argument to be made that I actually writer better on a deadline. And yes, I do impose deadlines on myself if I’m not working with a publisher, but I’m nice and I let myself off the hook if life takes over. I probably shouldn’t do that.

How about you guys? How do you feel about deadlines? Do you impose them on yourself? 

28 comments:

  1. I understand the importance of deadlines, but I'm the get-it-done-the-last-minute kind of person so I haven't necessarily liked them as much in the past. I feel like I do better (sometimes) when, instead of doing equal parts everyday, I just work harder when the story is flowing well.
    Now I also understand that for published authors and authoresses that probably doesn't work so well :)

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    1. I love it when the story is flowing. Then let anybody try to pull me away from the computer. ;) Too bad every day wasn't like that.

      -Ann

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    2. It would be wonderful if the story flows well all the time. But, I guess you can't have it all ;)

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    3. I procrastinate waaaaaaaay too much. I'm like, "Oh, I'll study enough in time for tomorrow's test", then....."AHHHHHHHHHH. I'M GONNA DIE".
      So, maybe teensy deadlines would be a goods start...maybe.

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  2. When others are involved, if I'm writing a guest post or something, deadlines work well for me to stay focused. I like feeling accountable, so I make sure the job gets done. And I usually have plenty of time to see it through.

    But self-imposed deadlines are a hit or miss. Though it keeps me striving to the goal, life gets in the way and I often lay too much stress on myself and either fail to meet the deadline or the work is subpar.

    I think the key is having a solid understanding of what you're capable of doing on a consistent basis. I'm not quite there yet, but someday.

    -Ann

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  3. DEADLINES GIVE ME LIFE. XD I write so much better when I'm under pressure, even if it's self-imposed. *nods* Even if it's just a tiny little time deadline, like a word war, I still get so motivated and competitive. :D

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  4. Sometimes, deadlines are great. Other times ... not so much. I have a love/hate relationship with deadlines. I don't work well under pressure, but having a goal that's attainable is helpful. Of course, if you're like me, you make your goals completely unattainable because you expect so much from yourself. Then you crash and it's an unfortunate cycle that I've chosen not to partake in at the moment.

    For now, I'm going slow, formulating new ideas, and I'm going to have my mom read my first *coughs* hundredth *coughs* draft. Having her eyes has helped me with my blog and I've come to the conclusion that it might be helpful to have her read my draft. So smart of me. *sarcasm*

    Anyway, that was longer than I meant. Thank you for this wonderful post. It's always nice to see what people have to say about the question.

    God bless y'all. :)

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    1. Do you talk about writing on your blog, Ivie?

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    2. Yes. I have a whole day for writing. Writing Wednesdays is when posts about writing. My blog is a mostly about writing, but also a little about motivation and life.

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    3. That sounds fun. :)

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    4. Thank you. I love to talk about writing, so I'll probably end up talking about it more than just one day. I have some more time on my hands now.

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    5. Olivia: Ivie's blog is amazing. :)
      Ivie: "Of course, if you're like me, you make your goals completely unattainable because you expect so much from yourself. Then you crash...." -----YESSSS! Oh my goodness. This is so me. That's....kind of sad. Lol
      I have my cousin kind of.....beta read. (In a way.) I let her read what I've written so far, and she says what she thinks about it, but I think I may save that for my end product, and let her beta read my short stories. Lol
      My sister also reads my work. :)
      Good luck to all my fellow writers. :)

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    6. LHE, thank you for the compliment.
      Glad someone relates to this. Deadlines can be annoying, but we can't live without them. :)

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    7. You're very welcome. :)
      I can relate to it....a lot. Lol Yup, you are absolutely right. Can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em. Lol

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  5. I think deadlines are a good thing but shouldn't be stressed. I have small ones. My goal is to write one page a day. Good bye to that, yesterday I wrote nine. That doesn't happen every day. I want to have my entire book finished by the end of this summer. I'm not to hard on my self about my deadlines but I try to keep up with them.
    -Rakayle

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  6. I usually love deadlines! I doubt I would be very productive without them. Sometimes I set deadlines that are too aggressive, however, and have to take a step back and realize that's not healthy. ;)

    One of my college teachers taught me about SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. A goal (or deadline) is waaaay more effective when it meets that criteria. ^_^

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  7. I haven't been good with setting deadlines for my fiction. Since deadlines really help me be productive in school, however, I think I should give them a try.

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  8. I love me a good deadline. But I can't impose them on myself; my self-control isn't developed well enough to keep me on task. Having someone else to be accountable to really helps me get through that sagging middle.
    Of course, I just graduated high school with my associate's degree, so most of my experience with deadlines looked like AAAHH!!! IT'S DUE TOMORROW AND I'VE DONE NOTHING!!! I'm not pushing myself too hard this summer. :-)

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    1. Congratulations! Deadlines can be quite annoying sometimes.

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  9. It depends, like a lot of people have said. During the school year, now that I'm in college (I keep saying that, but I'll be a senior this fall --- I'm only just getting used to the idea of a school year), I have a lot of deadlines, and sometimes my "pet" projects have to wait a while for me to do the other things that have grades attached to them. During the summers I enjoy not having solid deadlines that can't change, but I do try to have something to keep me from putting things off and wasting time.

    For example, this semester I barely wrote at all in either of my main novels, since I had a lot of papers and essays and stories to write (two literature classes, a philosophy class, and two writing workshops will do that to you). This summer my main goal is to rewrite, if not entirely, at least half (preferably more) of a novel I want to have ready to pitch at Realm Makers next year. That means I have to have it rewritten soon, so I can let it sit for a while and then send it to beta-readers with enough time for them to get it back and for me to make the necessary changes in time for the conference. So I have plenty of motivation, without a deadline like "first draft of revision must be turned in by August 25th at midnight". It's flexible, but it's enough, so I find I can work with it without getting stressed (much).

    https://ofdreamsandswords.wordpress.com

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  10. Deadlines are magical. They have no substance, yet they pin me to a keyboard for hours. I hit my first fifty-thousand words for my first (almost) full-length manuscript during NanoWrimo almost two years ago. Still, the majority of the time while I'm dealing with deadlines, I'm either ignoring them, or I'm stressed out, dabbing up the tears from my eyes and regretting my procrastinating on YouTube.
    Deadlines are precious.
    Deadlines are cruel.

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  11. Deadlines spark this magical competitiveness in me that wants to dominate my goals, and it's even better when I have something to be accountable to (like NaNoWriMo or mywriteclub). So, it forces me to make time for things rather then just do them when I please.

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  12. Deadlines mean I have to get it done. But I can usually get it done anyways...Yet it is because of deadlines on a writer's forum that I actually learned to finish a plot ;p So, they got me going. But now I am good either way :) Mostly... ;p

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  13. Deadlines can be great, or horrible, depending on variables.

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  14. Deadlines hate me. No, no, they despise me. It drives me crazy when I have deadlines. If I have to force myself to go quickly, then my writing will be crappy. Seriously crappy, and cheap.
    Though...I guess deadlines would help me to remember to actually write, but my nerves would be too frazzled.
    Hope you all can cope with deadlines.

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  15. Haven't been writing much lately, except for papers for college. And deadlines are a whole bunch of stress and angst. But I like Jill's comment - they definitely keep me from rewriting the paper a million times and ways and never stopping. :)

    https://teensliveforjesus.blogspot.com

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  16. I don't really set deadlines on myself that often. I do NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, but other than those, I just write when I can and try to write every day.
    ~Mila

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