Monday, 30 January 2012

Dealing with Writing Deadlines


The last two days I have been frantically writing for competitions, deadlines all at the end of this month. I don’t know why, but I seem to always leave everything to the last minute; to the point that 'A' put the kids to bed so that I could set myself up in the study to start writing a ten minute play, not continue with one…start one.
It does seem to work for me though. That is why we need deadlines, otherwise there would be no pressure at all to get things done. All in all I had six competitions to enter, even though some of them I used work that I had previously written (recycling), there were two comps that I wanted to write new work for. This was good for me though, even if it wasn’t good for the health of everyone around me; I do thrive when I feel the pressure on me and I have to put myself under pressure at times in order to get things done.

As a freelance writer my only deadlines come from magazines or competitions, everything else is in my control. To increase my output I put together a schedule stating what I would be doing on each day. For instance, Monday I have put down as a writing day; Tuesday a sending day and so on; I have also set myself targets, each week I have to send a piece of work somewhere and I have to update this blog every Friday. In order for this to work I need to be organised, something that doesn’t come very naturally to me. I have written a list of all the magazines that I could possibly write for and then I come up with ideas for various articles or stories.


One of my dreams is to write a script for Commando magazine,http://www.commandocomics.com/ I used to love that as a child and have bought an omnibus edition for my son. There are some really wonderful stories in it and some very memorable characters, your typical war story characters really. Writing for comics is very similar to writing a script for stage/tv/film, but it does need action on every page. I would suggest, if you ever think of attempting writing a script that you just write it first and then worry about the layout. The story is the vital thing and with comics, it needs to move at a pace. That is my challenge for the next few weeks.

As for these competitions, now they are done it is out my hands. In the last week I have submitted two plays; one poem; a sitcom pitch with episode one; a one act play and a full length play. I have also sent off a script that I adapted into a teleplay for a particular company.

Exciting times and a great thing to do, felt like a proper writer again. Now, I just need to earn more money with my articles.

2 comments:

Glenn said...

I am envious of your discipline, productivity and outlook. I just don’t think I have it in me to write. I have the passion for the ideas, the characters, the story. I know I watch and appreciate good to great TV and films. I don’t watch or read rubbish. And watching good things does get my brain ticking over and I get excited again. But... I’m just the least productive writer ever. And I don’t know why.

Oh, should be back in England if there is a writing meeting late Feb / early March. :)

marissa said...

Wonderful post, Zac. I tend to do better with deadlines too, and also lean toward procrastination.I like to think that the "not writing" time is spent mentally preparing for the actual "sit-down work" of writing. Sounds like you have a great schedule worked out. Keep writing:) Blessings, Marissa