It’s difficult to focus as a deadline approaches. You begin worrying about the impending ‘times up’ rather than the words you’re writing. Don’t. Easy to say, hard to do, right? Here are some things that help me.
1. Set yourself a goal each day. This is how NaNoWriMo works. It encourages people not just with the grand goal of 50,000 words in a month, but with targets for each day. It’s something that works for amateurs and professionals. If you have an 800 word article due in 7 days, then make it 200 words a day and on the 4th day start the edits.
2. Make time. We all prioritize every day. If the deadline is approaching and you’re not making your daily quota, then readjust your schedule. Something has to give.
3. Make the deadline. If you want to be a professional, and most writers do, then I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to reach the deadline given. Even if you’re the one setting the deadline – don’t give into temptation and change it. You’ll get into a bad habit. Professionalism starts with developing good habits. Do it.