About Writing Deadlines

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

While I could sum this up in one simple piece of advice (don’t miss a deadline–ever!), I’m not here to talk about if you should or should not make your deadlines as a writer. I’m talking about timing here…

Sometimes life hands you lemonade. You’ll get five great clients at once. They are all well-paying gigs and the work is more than you’ve had in six months. So what’s the problem?

They all want their work done at the same time.

This happens more often than you might think. Deadline drama is something that every freelancer dreads–but it’s also part of the game. If you can’t avoid this issue, then you simply must cope with it. How you do that depends on your comfort zone with tackling the work. Here are some choices:

  • Do one project at a time until they are all done. Depending on the deadline date(s), this may or may not be feasible. Still, some people work best this way, completing one task at a time…even if they have to work extra hours.
  • Stagger the workload. Say you have five projects. Do a day for each during the week, and clean up loose ends on the weekend. This way there is variety, yet you are still keeping everything in motion.
  • Load the weekend. Not an ideal plan, but if need be you can tackle a chunk of each on the weekend days. Sometimes you just have to suck it up.
  • Draft, proof, polish. In this method you will just blurt out all the rough drafts first. Then, proofread each for obvious errors, such as spelling or usage problems and formatting. Then, polish. This way you have everything done, and you can really work on making it shine if you have time left over. If not, well, at least it’s all done.

How do you handle multiple deadlines? Got any tips to share?