with guest Sarah Ladd
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” - Napoleon Hill
Deadlines. If you are a writer, you are no stranger to them! Contest entry deadlines. Blog post deadlines. Manuscript deadlines. Editing deadlines. Keeping track of all your deadlines and meeting them can be as difficult as actually writing your book! It’s easy to get nervous when a deadline is approaching, but with proper planning, you can survive you writing deadlines – and even thrive! Here are a few tips and tricks to help you reach your next deadline.
DEVELOP a plan. Some of you are full time writers. Some of you work outside the home. Some of you are caring for children or other family members. No matter how many hours a week you are able to dedicate to your writing, the important thing is use those hours wisely. Start with a blank calendar and circle your deadline date. Then, figure out how many days a week you are going to write and how many words a day you will need to write to meet your deadline. If you are working on multiple writing projects, create a different schedule for each project and layer them on top of each other to make sure you plan is feasible. This will help you visually keep your projects on track.
SHARE your plan with others. Writing is rarely a solitary endeavor. Even though you are the one putting words on paper (or the screen), writers often need the help and support of others to make it happen. So make sure you communicate your goals to those important to you – your spouse. Your children. Your friends. Let them know when you will be working so they can support you and know what to expect.
ASK for accountability. One of the great things about being a writer is that you probably have “writer” friends or you are a member of a writing community. Most of the people in these circles are likely facing deadlines of their own … Support each other! Share your goals with other writers. Ask for encouragement. Encourage others. You will find that communicating your success (and your concerns) with those who are on the same journey will inspire and motivate you.
BE diligent. Some days, you will fly through your day’s word count goals. Other times, you will struggle to get even 100 words on the page. This is normal! The important thing is that you keep your goal in mind. Even if you don’t feel like it, WRITE. Even if the words aren’t coming, WRITE. Writing is a discipline. The more you practice, and the more you exercise your ability to write even if the words aren’t coming, it will be easier to get through those harder days in the future.
CUT yourself some slack. While it is important to be diligent, if you get off track, don’t beat yourself up. In fact, it is a good idea to include some “make-up” days in your schedule. It happens to us all – we get sick, stuck in traffic, or the day’s schedule is just overwhelming. So if this happens, start fresh the next day.
STAY balanced. While it is important to meet your deadline, remember your priorities. Every writer’s situation is different, but don’t sacrifice special moments. Enjoy your family. Hang out with friends. Spend time in the Word. Work out. You will find that if you balance your activities appropriately, you will be more creative with your writing.
REMEMBER to have fun! Don’t let deadline stress get you down. When a deadline gets tough, remember why you love writing. Take five minutes and read a page or two from your favorite book. Chat with an author friend. Write a scene – just for fun. Writers write because it is their passion. Enjoy the journey, my friends.
Thanks so much for having me on Seekerville! I always love getting to visit. So now it’s your turn! I would love to hear your tips and tricks for meeting your deadlines!
Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. Her debut novel, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance, and her second novel, The Headmistress of Rosemere, is now available. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever. Connect with her online: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Don't miss the contest going on right now on Sarah's Facebook page!
The Headmistress of Rosemere is an RT Bookreviews 4 1/2 star TOP PICK!
"This book has it all: shining prose, heart-wrenching emotion, vivid and engaging characters, a well-paced plot and a sigh-worthy happy ending that might cause some readers to reach for the tissue box. In only her second novel, Ladd has established herself as Regency writing royalty."
Patience Creighton has devoted her life to running her father’s boarding school. But when the enigmatic master of the estate appears at her door, battered and unconscious, the young headmistress suddenly finds her livelihood—and her heart —in the hands of one dangerously handsome gentleman.
Today Sarah is generously giving away one print copy of The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whisper on the Moors Book Two) to one lucky commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.
We are including this additional picture of Sarah from an ACFW Conference, so you realize that she looks as lovely in real life as she does in her bio picture!