How Does a Deadline Help You Write?

In case you missed this blog post at Write Nonfiction NOW!, I’m publishing it here as well. It’s worth a read again anyway…

training as a magazine journalist taught me the value of deadlines. When you are up against the wall, you simply have to write. You have to start–and finish.

That’s the beauty of a deadline. You start and finish a writing project in a given amount of time–possibly in a short amount of time.

So what if you don’t actually have a deadline you have to meet? Impose one on yourself. Let your mind think that deadline is real. Actually, it is. You’ve given it to yourself. Be accountable–to yourself.

Next month, you can take the Write Nonfiction in November challenge. It offers you a deadline. Start and finish a nonfiction project in 30 days. You can write a book, an e-book, an article, an essay, a special report, or a tip book.  The word count doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you start and finish.

While you’re at it, read the blog. You’ll learn a ton from the 25 or more expert guest bloggers who will share a ton of information on writing in general, writing nonfiction, publishing, book promotion, platform building, finding agents and publishers, and so much more. WNFIN offers 30 days of information-packed blogs to keep you inspired while you write.

And the deadline keeps you writing.

What do you do once you’ve met the deadline, when November has come and gone, for example? You set another deadline.


  1. You’re so right about the need for a deadline. Without it we will enter the mode of procrastination, or as my husband calls it, “The student syndrome”. It is something we seem to learn while we are in school, to put off doing a paper, or a project, or a lab because something more fun is available right now, and there’s always tomorrow.

    Training ourselves to procrastinate makes a job of being a freelance writer very difficult. If you cannot discipline yourself to sit down and do the work, you’ll never make any progress as a writer.

    Your idea of WNFIN is the perfect remedy for anyone who has “had an idea” drifting around in their head, but they’ve never had the time or opportunity to sit down and write it.

    Knowing that you’re in the company of other people throughout the world doing exactly the same thing is motivating and stimulating. By the end of November, there will be a lot more material for the world to read as a result of your efforts.

    Best regards,

    Kathleen Birmingham
    America’s Author Maker

    • That’s the goal–lots of new material written and ready to be published (or at least ready to be edited and then published). Procrastination is every writers worst enemy. Learning to use deadlines helps a lot. Thanks for your comment. I look forward to many more!

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