15.37: Writing Under Deadlines

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

What’s it like to write under a deadline which has been set for your project by someone else? What strategies might help you bring the writing in under the deadline?  Can you train yourself to be ready for this?

Those are all good questions. Hopefully we won’t run out of time to come up with answers…

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.


Experiment with a “stay on target” time management tool, like the Forest focus app, or something similar.

Overly Sarcastic Productions (YouTube channel)

8 thoughts on “15.37: Writing Under Deadlines”

  1. On the matter of training yourself to write regularly so you don’t end up with a deadline crisis, I don’t remember where I first heard it, but someone mentioned choosing a time of day to write that you might NOT instinctively pick to write–ie. a time of day when you are low energy–because your resistance is down.

    As a morning person, for me, that low energy time is afternoon/evening. I have experimented with this method a few times (wish I could say I was consistent) and it does work. When I have fallen behind in word count, even if I’m dead tired, if I force myself to do, in effect, a timed sprint at that awful time of day, it does help you “shut up and write” because you’re tired and you just want to get it over with.

    it’s nice to have a good tool like that when you’re trying to get the book done.

  2. I saw the topic this week and felt myself cringe under the personal applicability!
    I’m in the process of finishing my first book, technically a few months past my tentatively established deadline, but continual retouching has gotten me caught up on “improvements” that keep it from being completed. (Having 4 kids, a wife in school and working, and working full time all exacerbate the issue.)
    This podcast is just what I needed to commit to the home-stretch sprint :) It reminded me just how easy it is to justify “taking care of [myself]” and ignore the fact that soft priorities are, and should be, dynamic if we want to be successful.
    Thank you!

  3. And the victorious foursome, Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard, finished their talk close to the deadline! Yes, how do you deal with contractual deadines, multiple projects, flat tires, and all the scheduling of a writing career? Plenty of ideas available in the transcript in the archives now.

  4. This episode is the most helpful and relevant writing excuses cast I’ve heard in years. (For me, at least!) THANK YOU. I’ve listened to it four times in the last few days. It helped me solidify my current personal deadline. I like to divide my target word count by how many days I’ll be writing before deadline, and then write at minimum that many words per day. Thanks to this advice I added a ten day buffer in my one-month deadline. I can already see it’s going to help my confidence and health! Why didn’t I think of that? Brilliant.

  5. If you’re into the likes of Overly Sarcastic Productions, you’ll like the channel “Hello Future Me” too! Tim explains various concepts of worldbuilding, writing, and general speculative fiction. It’s really good <3

  6. I missed the deadline today. It was for a submission request in a short story anthology. Well, I wasn’t wise with my choices over the last week or so, and I didn’t take into account the time it would take to work through this particular story.

    Maybe it’s good though. I mean, this is a lot less painful then some big contractually induced deadline. So, I guess this suffering in the kind of practice. And a warning to my future self.

  7. Dang guys! What timing! Thank you for this. I am just beginning to deal with publisher deadlines and juggling other projects at the same time. This is bursting with wonderful, concrete helps. I will be listening to this one repeatedly over the next months. You guys rock!

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