Thursday, June 11, 2009

Writing Under Pressure - I Don't Think So!

We've heard people say this before. It starts about junior high, reaches it's full power by high school and eventually is fully incorporated into the lives of many when they reach the work market. "You knowm, I work best under pressure."

I Don't Think So. This is just another way that procrastinating writers justify waiting until the last minute to meet a deadline.

Sure, deadlines happen. We see them all of the time. Sure, things do get in the way and writers find that meeting that deadline is tough. But waiting until the last minute is a sure way of running into problems that simply can't be fixed and could ruin your writing career.

Writing is about process. Ask your children who are in school right now. They will (or should be able to) tell you all about this process. There is a pre-writing phase (yes this means planning and outlining), the drafting phase (revision and the like) and then the publishing phase (grammar, punctuation, typos, etc.). It takes time to get through all of this. If, however, you wait until the last minute, you lose time for some of that great editing and revision.

There is another side effect of this. If you rush through the process, you end up putting pressure on your agent or editor. Remember, they too have deadlines. Let me explain.

As an agent, if I have an editor that loves one of my writer's stories but wants revisions, we set a deadline of when that editor will expect the work. If, we miss that deadline due to procrastination, then not only does the writer look bad, the agent does too.

What about the editor. They have other people in line behind them that need that manuscript. Marketing, art, business, etc. Don't forget that the editor does have other writers and you can not simply be pushed to the top of the list due to procrastination.

Simply put. Plan ahead. Make a plan and stick to it. Waiting until the last minute is not something needed in the professional writing market.


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