Deadlines and Drama
I’m on a deadline today to complete this article about deadlines. Working to a deadline means completing something by a specified date. Today I’m prompted to act within a timeframe I set in advance. I like to be at least one to two months ahead with my three biggest deadlines – blog posts, writing tip articles, and author interviews, for my website. This avoids unnecessary drama and pressure. Creativity must live at the forefront of my brain, and I must stay organized, focused, and driven to achieve the above-mentioned goals. It means cranking out two articles a week and hunting down potential authors to fill the Author Spotlight feature. There are smaller deadlines in between the big three, namely daily social media posts for Wordy Tips & Tidings and concentrating on my WIP. These also require my time, attention, and energy.
Before I venture into the nitty-gritty of how I accomplish these objectives, writers beware, what works for me are MY tried-and-true techniques. They may or may not work for you. And by the way, I’m not married to the methods. I’m constantly altering, tweaking, and scrapping what doesn’t work and building on what does.
An ideal spot does wonders to mitigate distractions and boost creativity. The motif need not be fancy, but the environment must afford the most advantageous pathway to productivity.
That’s right, commit to cutting connections to the outside world for a specified period. Disengage from social media. That’s a biggie. Check your accounts for a short while then stop. Free yourself from glancing, commenting, or posting while you work to blow that deadline out of the water. Extricate yourself from email and lay off the texting for a short spell. Silence your phone to minimize interruptions.
I do my best writing when I create working titles for my articles ahead of time. This way I know where my writing is headed, and I can research and fill in the nuts and bolts later. I usually have 8-10 provisional monikers at any given time. I open documents for each to make them real and to hold myself accountable. With those titles locked and loaded, thoughts begin to swirl about how to craft each article and I begin jotting down elements to include.
I’m super into to-do lists but they must be reasonable and achievable. I generally stick to daily and weekly goals and attempt to check off at least three per day and complete as many as possible for the week. Sometimes I astonish myself when I see how many things I've crossed off.
I’m keen on calendars. I not only use a calendar in my personal world, but the calendar also serves a serious purpose in my writing world. A monthly calendar keeps me on track. Since I post Writing Tip articles on Mondays, Author Spotlights on Wednesdays, and Blog articles on Fridays, I use those designated days on the calendar to pencil in my working titles. This creates motivation and repels procrastination.
Writers are all different so it follows that one writer’s ideal writing time might be poles apart from another. MY perfect writing time slot is in the morning, after a hot cup of coffee and after checking my social media, of course. It helps that I already have my workspace set up, my daily do-list at the ready, my weekly goals mapped out, and my monthly calendar on deck. Creating and cranking out Wordy social media posts for the week is best accomplished after night falls. I'm not posting them at night, I’m building and scheduling them in the evening. Finally, I email potential authors to solicit interviews, formulate their questions, or send them info.
As mentioned above, I juggle large and small stuff. I like to get the smaller tasks out of the way first. Since my daily social media posts are created and scheduled ahead of time, I check to make sure they posted. Promoting an upcoming author for my website or sharing the link to their interview takes precedence over drafting new articles, so that’s completed first. Soon I’m onto drafting a new article or two if I’m lucky. Then it's time to give my WIP some love.
Breaking it down Wordy-style. Cutting a monster of a task into smaller pieces prevents overwhelming feelings of possible deadline disaster. Easier chunks are doable.
Fire up Canva (Design Website) gather post related images, construct banners, and download
Add all to Wordy website and schedule
Email potential authors
Gather info such as JPEGs, author bio, social media links, and short synopsis
Formulate questions and send email
Fire up Canva again to create frames and banners, and download
Add interview and images to Wordy website and schedule
Email author with scheduled date
Promote author interview a day ahead
Post the link the day the interview goes live and email the link to the author