Insights About Deadlines
By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
Writers are notorious about being late on deadlines. As an editor, I’ve heard almost every possible excuse from writers about why they need a deadline extension. Deadlines are a part of the publishing world and built into contracts. Years ago, I wrote all night to meet a deadline. One of the simple ways any writer can standout to an editor and others in the publishing world is to meet or exceed their deadline.
Earlier this year at the Evangelical Press Association meetings in Colorado Springs, I heard and met communication expert Phil Cooke. If you follow this link to Phil’s bio, you will learn he has a wide variety of experience. While I have read many how-to books, I’d never seen an entire book focused on deadline until I recently read Cooke’s Ideas On a Deadline, How to Be Creative When the Clock Is Ticking. Until reading this book, I’d never understood why with some writing projects, I can’t get motivated to write pages until I get closer to the deadline. According to Cooke, this tendency is a common one and many of the best creative ideas when you are under deadline pressure to produce words. The book has numerous short chapters filled with a combination of personal stories, detailed research and how-to information.
’t easy, but if you’re willing to understand it, prepare for it, and activate it in your life, there’s no end to what’s possible. This book is about delivering great ideas on a deadline. Hopefully, it will forever dispel the myth that truly creative people must wait for a moment of inspiration before the start a project. Your days of waiting are over. Now is the time to create!” (Page 17)
Cooke's breaks the topic into four key areas:
1. The Mindset– “how we need to reset our thinking for tackling creative challenges…the role passion plays in creativity, why deadlines matter, and the truth about having eureka moments.”
2. The Motivation– “how to build confidence in your creative abilities, how to open up space in your day for new ideas, dealing with fear, and how to look at the challenges with a fresh vision.”
3. The Method—”how to use creative extensions and get clarity…a list of techniques I’ve discovered that will help breakthrough ideas happen with the pressure is on.”
4. The Momentum– “where do you go from here? As you become more comfortable with creating ideas on a deadline, how do you become a creative leader? How do you inspire other creative people?” (Page 25)
Ideas On a Deadline is a compelling read and every type of creative person will find insights and action steps for a more successful writing life. I encourage you to read it with a highlighter or book flags to mark different sections. This book is the type which could be read each year for new practical insights. I highly recommend you study Ideas On a Deadline.
Every writer can gain multiple insights from a book like Ideas On a Deadline. The insights only come if you get it, read it then take action and apply it into your everyday life. What how-to books are you reading and applying to your writing life? Let me know in the comments below.
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