Practicing Writing To A Goal Or Deadline

The realities of writing, at least as a professional, is the idea of the deadline. That’s a date and sometimes time to complete a piece of writing. Professional writers deal with them every day. If your goal is to be a professional writer, you need to get comfortable with deadlines. 

The easiest way to do that is to take part in something like NaNoWriMo. In November, writers set about writing fifty thousand words novels in thirty days. They start at a specific time. Then they must complete the task by a specific time and date, midnight November thirtieth. 

Since NaNoWriMo only happens in November, you could work at NanoCamp. NanoCamp has two sessions, one in April and one in July. They are looser versions of the November session. In Camp, you choose the number words, whether you are writing a piece or rewriting it. Then you have thirty days in April and thirty-one in July to complete the task. If that’s not to your liking, you can set a deadline of your own and try to keep it. 

Another way to practice is to set a word count goal and a set amount of time. Then try to achieve the word count within the time frame you gave yourself. There are options for practice. Is that right for you? Only you know for certain. You should be aware that if you want to be a professional writer, you need to be able to write to a deadline. Practicing it is going to help you.

That’s not to say deadlines can’t be intimidating. They most certainly can. You have to come up with ways to cope with them. Take NaNoWriMo, for instance, the task is fifty thousand words in thirty days. That works out to be sixteen hundred sixty-seven words a day. That’s one way to cope. Break the task down into achievable chunks over a shorter period. You could break it down by week. That works out to twelve thousand, five hundred words, which is still a bit intimidating. Or you could break it down by seven, the number of days in a week. That works out to seven thousand one hundred forty-three words in a seven-day period. That’s doable, but most people stick with dividing the fifty thousand words by the thirty days. They find it less threatening.

The point here is to not let the deadline get to you. You do that by taking the task and dividing it by the time you have to complete it. It works for whatever your task is, writing or not. Make sure to define the task as completely as possible before you tackle it. Any task is easier if you break it down into smaller pieces. Often the smaller pieces are easier to do. If you are diligent in doing what you need to do, you will find yourself completing the tasks by the deadline. Whether it is set for you or by you. Especially if you practice first. It’s true that practice makes perfect.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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