There’s this one, a self-imposed deadline to get an article and a newsletter out for this blog on most Thursdays. Since it’s not quite 9 am where I am it looks like I’ll make this one.
I started writing this morning at about 7:30 and finished one of two paid blog posts. The trouble is they’re both due in July, and I notice today is the 24th. I’ll probably make this deadline, but I’ll be pushing. Now that I’ve completed three articles for them I know for certain I need to allow more research and yeasting time because it’s a topic dear to my heart. Here’s the list so far if you’re curious.
Plus I have six more of eight also due this month for another publisher. I’ll get these done too, because they’re much simpler for me – I grew up in real estate so I’ve got a great background.
But! Look at how I’ve jammed myself in a corner!
How did I mis-manage these writing deadlines?
How did I let these writing deadlines slip so much?
Like you, I’ve often got a lot on my plate, and this month it’s included:
The very part time job I’ll soon have here at the Sweetwater Zen Center actually got started this month almost by accident. That meant some unscheduled learning time which ate up a bunch of time and took me mentally of course.
I seem to remember a day or two lost to migraine headaches, which is normal for me, but on top of the other stuff put me behind more than usual.
All of which is true, and there’s another truth as well.
I did some serious, delightful, goofing off. I sat in the garden petting my cat more often. I finished reading several thriller novels, even reading in the morning when I first got up. I got up later than usual which means I started my work day later than usual.
John Soares’ article Why Freelance Writers Often Miss Deadlines describes my month of procrastination pretty well.
What I can (and probably will) do
In my own defense, neither of the editors have given me any deadline other than “2 articles a month” and “8 posts a month” Nor should they have to, really. I’m supposed to be able to manage my own time, and I can.
I’ll give myself writing deadlines. Just as I almost always post on this blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays – a deadline I’ve set and actually, over time, changed, I can set deadlines for the other two gigs. For the eight real estate posts I’ll do two a week; for the other I’ll do one by the 10th of the month an one by the 20th.
I know how to keep freelance writing deadlines. I learned by accident. I didn’t realize until I actually started editing a magazine how many writers feel it’s okay to slip a deadline. And sure, it happens, but by that time I had learned how to make them because I didn’t know I had some choice. I decided to keep writing deadlines and I have.
For me it’s recognizing how I got off track that’s important. As you see here, I can be honest with myself about why I’m doing something other than writing the articles I’ve been assigned. It helps.
My own work does come first, but that doesn’t mean I can’t rearrange my schedule and my thinking about my schedule and get all the writing done.
What a concept!
What’s your secret for meeting deadlines? Let’s talk about it in comments.
Write well and often,