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Why You Should Make a Deadline (Even If You Don’t Have a Deadline)

Do you make writing deadlines for yourself?

The Song Remains the Same author¬†Allison Winn Scotch urged writers to set a personal deadline, even if their editors don’t give them one. She encouraged readers to break a large project into smaller components, setting a specific timeline to complete each individual task.

Here’s an excerpt from her blog post: “With the screenplays I’m working on, I actually give deadlines to my producers…they are happy to get what I turn in whenever I turn it in, but I can’t work that way. So, for example, I’ll say: I intend to get you 50 pages by X date, and then I work backwards from there. I calculate how many pages a day I’ll need to write to meet that deadline…and I write them. Often times, I write faster than I imagined but without that date looming over me, there’s no chance I would. I think this can be a really useful tool when you’re working on a spec manuscript.”

At a past reading event, YA author Cassandra Clare pointed out that by consistently writing a mere 100 words per day, you will have 12 full chapters by the end of the year. Many literary organizations would consider that a complete novella.

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