If you’ve been following my Blog then you know I have a deadline of March 1st for my book Dead Magic to be edited and in the (virtual) hands of my publisher.  Dead Magic is the sequel to Witch-Born and, I think, the last book in the world of Magnellum.

Probably.  More than likely it’s the last one.  We’ll see.  I said Sedition would be a stand-alone and I’m working on its third book now.

In any case, I am right on target for my March 1st deadline.  So don’t worry!  (Trust me, if I were worried about it I wouldn’t be pausing to write a blog, I don’t care what the Marketing people have to say.)  But the whole deadline thing got me to thinking about how deadlines have really altered my writing habits.

Honestly, if you’re one of those writers who just writes whenever and shrugs about when they might get their manuscripts finished, then you need to start making some deadlines.  I used to be that way, too.  Until I learned that a deadline — even a self-imposed deadline — means that I really do get more done.

Some people might groan and say that stress can stifle their creativity, but it really does work.  Sometimes we need to stress ourselves out.

It’s almost as good as the best advice I ever read about writing.  I can’t remember who wrote the book, but the advice was to write yourself into a corner.  By that I mean, write your characters into an impossible situation.  People don’t care about run-of-the-mill situations after all, they want to see what these characters will do when they are faced with impossible situations, terrible choices, and the like.

Best.  Advice.  Ever.

But next up is writing with deadlines.  Contracts are fun and they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you can say; “Oh, this one is on contract so I have to get it done.”  However, even inside a contract you have to make deadlines.

Rough draft done by December.  Edits done by March 1st.

Those are really vague deadlines, but they work.

So!  I highly recommend deadlines.

And, of course, writing yourself into a corner.

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