Writers, 7 ways to avoid missing your deadline

The prose must go on! So, follow these steps to ensure you fulfill your commitments and make your deadlines.

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I’ll never forget the time I ended up in the emergency room and was stuck in hospital for a week. (Long story; I’m fine now.) But the debacle caused me to miss a deadline. The client was the picture of understanding, but for me, a former daily newspaper editor, it was deeply embarrassing.

I’ve always believed that writers, like performers, need to operate by the code “the show must go on”—illness, broken limbs, mechanical failure notwithstanding. I may be late for lunch, but I typically never miss a writing deadline. Here are seven ways you can ensure fulfilling your commitments:

1. Divide your writing job into small parts, and do a little at a time. We procrastinate because writing jobs frequently overwhelm. Instead, break the job into smaller pieces. Researching is one task, thinking is another, and producing a mind map is yet a third. Broken up in this manner, any writing job will seem less intimidating, and you will be more likely to get started sooner. Furthermore, once you start putting fingers to the keyboard, don’t feel you have to devote great gobs of time to it. Write in dribs and drabs, here and there. Eventually those words will add up, and your work will have been completed.

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