Deadlines Are Meant to be Broken
1. Deadline writing isn’t the best. Writing, like stew, is always better the second day. When you have a chance to go back after a few hours—or days—all the flaws in a piece seem to jump out at you. A time cushion gives you the opportunity to do last minute research, ask sources follow-up questions, or get great quotes.
3. Deadlines are missed. For all your screaming to your family to be quiet and scribbling bits of writing late into the night it finally becomes obvious you aren’t going to meet the deadline. You have to beg your editor for more time. Unfortunately, the miracle of email makes it impossible to blame the missed deadline on someone else (i.e. the US Postal Service). No more “I put it in the mail. I don’t know why you didn’t get it!” Now, editors know that article is just a second away. The only obstacle between them and that article is you pushing the send button.
4. You’re losing future work. When you have to miss a deadline it’s easy to rationalize it. “I had hundreds of deadlines this year and I’ve only missed this one.” That, however, is your viewpoint. Editors don’t care about your viewpoint. How many times have you worked with this editor? Imagine this is the second time you’ve worked for this editor. To them you miss 50% of your deadlines. Would you want to take a chance on someone who misses 50% of their deadlines?
To hear more from Jodi stop by her blog Words by Webb. When not writing color-coded deadlines on her calendar, she’s searching for an agent for her World War II era novel.