December 16th, 2004
Approaches to the Craft

No, I’m not talking about casting spells. Although, I’m sure we could have a very interesting conversation on that subject. 😉 I’m talking about how you approach a story. For years…and I mean YEARS, I was a major procrastinator. (In some areas of my life this still holds true.) When I decided to take writing seriously, I knew that had to change or I’d never have a career.

I tend to go in extremes. So when I changed the way I approached writing, I went from the unproductive stop/start approach to the balls to the wall approach. This makes it extremely difficult to pace myself.

If I get a contract that has set deadlines for the work, I dig into it immediately. I feel panic stricken that the stories are not complete. It doesn’t matter that I have six months before they’re due. I have to write them NOW!

I know I’m weird, but how do you approach deadlines and writing? Do you listen to the sound of the deadline as it whooshes past? Are you methodic? I have to figure out a happy medium, especially if I want my career to last beyond three novellas.

On a personal note, I’d like to congratulate Cece on her sale to Black Lace. Way to go!!! The sales keep coming for the Write or Die gang.

9 comments to “Approaches to the Craft”

  1. I want six months!!! Even two would be nice. I’m totally interested in this thread, so everyone ‘fess up. How do you survive the dreaded deadline?

  2. Jordan, I’m the same way. If I’m at the mail box and get a request I run home and start working. I have to have it done NOW!!! I really need to learn to relax because sometimes that panic mode I get myself into stifles me creatively.

  3. As I posted on Sylvia’s blog yesterday, I love deadlines. If I didn’t have deadlines, it’d take me nigh on forever to produce a manuscript. I need that sword dangling over my head to make me work. Part of the reason is that I have other things competing for my attention (kids, in other words:-) and part of it is that I’m a terrible procrastinator. I deliberately get my editor to contract on a manuscript long before I’m finished with it, which impels me to write it in a more timely manner. Panic… the lazy writer’s friend *g*.

  4. I’ll admit I’m inherently lazy =) so even though other than black lace (thanks Jordan for the woo hoo!) I don’t really have any, I’ve alwasy pushed myself and made myself act like this is a job. But “normal” jobs take vacations and have weekends off so I’ve also learned that it’s okay to take time off (like after I finish a ms.). I’m not much help, am I? LOL

  5. First Id like to say hi. I surfed in and found this conversation very interesting. I set my own deadline usually. Im really organized and set goals for myself so when faced with my own self imposed deadline (not published yet but crossing everything hoping to be soon) I stick with it. Usually I set times to write then have times I say I wont write and so something else. Like read a book, take a walk, shopping or movie or such. Making time for other things besides writing keeps me fresh and sane.

    Hmmm think Im getting the hang of this BLOG thing and definitely have to get me one.


  6. Cathy, I hear you. I’m the exact same way. I have to find a happy medium.

  7. Ellen, I go in spurts. If I don’t have a contract, like now, I don’t tend to get a lot done. Although the Write or Die challenge changed that for me last month. I became super productive because of it. A contract does tend to be the prod I need to get me going.(wg)

  8. Cece, my little devil’s adovate, I understand what you mean. LOL! You’re right to treat writing like a job, because it is. You’re also correct to take weekends off and schedule in a vacation. I’m still working on doing the latter. 😉

  9. Taige, First off, welcome! 😀 I think it’s great that you can keep your self-imposed deadlines. I can…sometimes. It’s a good habit to get into before you sell. Learning how to meet deadlines is probably one of the biggest problems new writers have beyond finishing the book. And when I say new writers, I mean me too. This whole business is one big learning experience that NEVER stops.