Whew! I’d forgotten, almost, what it’s like to be on a tight deadline.
I’d agreed to complete three projects – one had a 48 hour turn around and the other two needed to be done four days after that. Each was about 25 pages of copy, single spaced but with lots of white space. I wrote some 24,000 words give or take in a hurry.
And yes, I charged way more than usual for the rush job.
Of course, this is one of those projects I hadn’t planned on. I said yes knowing I’d have to put other stuff, on hold for the duration. Fortunately I was in a position to do so.
Decide what’s important
So I triaged, as it were. First, I decided I wouldn’t write as many blog entries as I normally do in a week. They don’t always take much time, but they do require their own focus and I wanted to use that early morning energy for the project instead.
Next I simply delayed two other projects by a week. Since both of those have squishy deadlines of their own it wasn’t a problem. I also canceled a badly needed hair cut. I ate out twice, no, three times – something rarely do, but by the end of the day cooking anything seemed impossible.
I did remember to move away from my computer and stand and stretch every couple of hours thanks to my cat, MzTiz and Workrave (which someone here recommended and I’m still not sure I like, but it worked). MzTiz contributed by insisting I let her out or in, and that I make sure she can never see the bottom of her food bowl.
Charge extra for the rush
Why did I accept a project requiring such push? Why do you think? Cash! As I mentioned, I charged about 30 percent more than I usually get because of the rush nature of the job. They didn’t like the increase, but they knew I could get the job done and they needed it so they agreed.
It also was the sort of writing I know pretty well. That meant almost no research and just a bit of fact checking. In other words, the actual writing was s fairly easy – it was the short timeline that made it intense.
My approach is the same – a rough draft followed by serious rewriting and editing. I just sped things up.
One of the advantages of being an experienced writer is we know how to do things like write reasonably well in a hurry when we have to. Of course, we learned this on the job, so to speak. I can remember when, back in the early days of my career, I wouldn’t have been able to meet those deadlines with aplomb.
Becoming a true pro takes time and practice.
I’m grateful for the work and grateful its completed – oh the contract calls for one revision, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
Now I’m getting back to my normal pace – which is pretty easy actually.
Write well and often,
Image from http://www.sxc.hu