Jul 24, 2013

Deadlines are a girl's best friend

by Emmie Dark

Right now I'm working on my fifth published book, but I still feel (probably rightly so!) like a total newbie. Each day as a published author seems to bring a new piece of information, or challenge, or discovery that I need to take in.

My newest discovery is what it's like to write a book while a deadline is hanging over my head. Don't get me wrong -- I've absolutely had to meet deadlines for a long time. In my working life in PR and communication, deadlines are a daily fact of life. So I understand deadlines. I get them.

But I've been fortunate enough that up until this book, I've been well along the way to being finished writing the book (or, indeed, already finished) by the time it's been picked up by a publisher. This book is the first time I've had a deadline before I've had "The End" (or even a good idea of what "The End" might look like).

It's actually kind of fun. I know, you were expecting me to talk about stress and tearing my hair out, but it hasn't really been like that. Instead I've just been very disciplined. I'm pretty disciplined to start with (I think all authors have to be, really) but having a deadline means I know exactly what I have to have done, by when, in order to get there.

Perhaps I'm just a structure-loving person? Another discovery I've made on this published author journey!

And on that note, I'd better get on and get some writing done today. That deadline is breathing down my neck!


  1. Hooray for structure.
    I think deadlines do make us more disciplined. Well, I need them at any rate. It's all about time management and feeling like everything is under control.

    And then panicking as it all gets crazy.

  2. Emmie, if I didn't have deadlines I'd never get anything done. I tend to leave things until the last possible moment - or month in the case of writing my books - and then panic like crazy. If not for deadlines I'd be known as "never finished Sue".

  3. Hi Emmie,
    As you're a self confessed pantser, I wonder about this structure loving side of yours. So having a structure for the task of writing, is what keeps the pantsing moving along. I like it!

  4. I know you love structure, Ebony! You must be rubbing off on me -- I think I'm starting to get it!

  5. Sue, I think I'm with you!! I sometimes like to think that I could win a gold medal in the procrastination Olympics!

  6. Dora -- that's a great way of thinking about it! Perhaps I should start calling myself the structure-loving pantser!!

  7. I'm a pantser too, Emmie, but I also love a deadline because I'm a goal-oriented structured person too. I have tried doing the structured thing with my writing - planning out everything. But then when I write, none of that happens, so now I just go with it. But having a goal/deadline to aim toward just helps push me along that meandering path a lot faster.

  8. Thanks for the great post, Emmie. I love a good deadline. Best motivation in the world.

  9. About to come in early on a deadline - woot!

  10. Good luck with the deadline, Emmie. I've got one too - next week. The world is narrowing to the pages of my ms right now. It's a change, isn't it, writing to a set timeframe, compared to writing almost for pleasure when unpublished?

  11. Ah, those deadlines keep us honest, don't they? One of life's sweet moments, I find, is when I come in early on the deadline -- a definite coffee and cake moment. :-)

    Enjoy the deadline, Emmie, and good luck!