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Deadline Management


“When length is a problem, I'd rather cut out sections -- entire thoughts -- than chisel off the texture and color from the most important parts of the story. Cutting is hard and painful work, but I'd rather do it myself than leave it to someone who doesn't know the story as well as I do." - Warren Wolfe

For some the idea of actually having writing deadlines would be a dream come true. They enjoy writing, but have never experienced the ruthless demand of completing an article by a preset time.

Deadlines have been the nemesis of writers for generations. Writers are notorious for seeing a deadline as being so far in the future the need to work on an article ‘right now’ seems nonexistent. In the end they simply make a mad dash to the finish line hoping they have everything in place to make the article shine.

I find that when I write on deadline, my stuff sometimes reads better, because I don't spend as much time trying to write the perfect sentence or capture the perfect image. In other words, allow the deadline to force you to be concise, crisp and to write with urgency." - Jim Souhan

A deadline does contribute to the tyranny of the urgent, yet writing for a deadline is a close cousin to Pressure Writing. When you are forced to work quickly your brain actually works harder and faster to process and compile only the most relevant facts. When you allow yourself to spend too long on an article you can begin to second-guess article construction and language use. Many writers will tell you that writing for a deadline actually works to make their writing clear and concise.

"Some people freeze on deadline. My cure for that: Start typing. The simple act of typing in possible leads or details frees you up. Sometimes writing a bad lead on deadline helps you remember what a good lead looks like, and allows you to jump-start your writing."
- Jim Souhan

As you develop a writing career you will find there are more and more deadlines to greet you. These deadlines are important and may ultimately liberate your writing to become something that is crafted in a timely manner and set free for the enjoyment of others.

Writing for a deadline also allows you to discover there is more writing to be done once you’ve met your cut-off date.

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