Sunday, June 05, 2022

The Writer's Relief

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

There is a feeling of relief for writers. It is hitting the send button and sending off a newly written article or a chapter or any number of other things that we have to send as writers. The bulk of these types of communications are done electronically these days. 

In recent days, I have sent a number of completed writing projects to editors or co-authors. To complete your deadline in a timely fashion is an important aspect of being a professional writer. In this article, I want to give you several steps that I take in this process in hopes it will give you some ideas for your writing life.
1. Keep track of your deadlines. It's easy to miss a deadline if you don't keep track of it. I use the reminder portion of my phone. I set a reminder and it allows me to hit these various deadline. For example, last week, my handouts for Write to Publish were due. Each time I teach at a conference I rework my handouts to make sure the various resources still work and everything is up to date. Hope to see some of you at this terrific conference on the campus of Wheaton College.
2. If you are going to be late (which does happen) then I encourage you to communicate as soon as you know this information. As I've written in other entries, publishing is a team effort and in general, your lateness will affect other people. Clear and transparent communication is a critical part of the process. It's an important part of the process.
3. Plan for interruptions and delays. From working in publishing for decades, I understand interruptions and delays are a normal part of the process.  You will still be able to meet your deadline if you understand this situation and plan it into your writing schedule.
4. Continue to move forward despite any setbacks. Rejection is a part of publishing. You are looking for a place that will be a fit for you and your writing. As an editor, authors will decide not to sign the contract that I've offered them. Other times my colleagues at Morgan James will decide to pass on the book and not offer a contract.  I've had projects cancel or go on hold or any number of other things happen in this writing life.  When these situations happen, I see the choices as simple. You can quit and do something else outside of publishing. I've watched many people make this choice over the years. Or you can continue writing, continue knocking on doors and looking for those opportunities. I have chosen to follow the second path which is often less traveled. I hope you will be on it as well.
In these days with electronic communication, before I hit the send button, I often will hold something in my “draft” folder or take one more look at it before I send it. Are there typos? Is there something which can be changed and said with greater clarity? I confess my communication is not perfect and there are times where I send it too quickly. It is key to keep sending it—even if imperfect.
The writer's relief is when you meet a deadline—whether for a publication, a book project or even sending your handouts for a writers' conference. It is a terrific feeling to meet another deadline and send another piece of writing into the market.
How are you on meeting deadlines? Have you had that feeling of the writer's relief wash over you after you have sent a submission? Let me know in the comments below. 

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