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The Weirdness of Writing Under Deadline

Now that I’ve experienced the process of writing a book under deadline, it’s interesting how different it is from the way I wrote my previous manuscripts. When I was working on My Very UnFairy Tale Life, I spent years drafting, getting feedback, revising, revising, and revising some more. It was a drawn-out process with a lot of lag time.

On the other hand, writing My Epic Fairy Tale Fail has zipped by. I outlined, I drafted, I revised and revised and revised, and very soon the book will be totally out of my hands. The whole process has lasted mere months instead of years. I won’t lie; it’s incredibly weird to think that a book I essentially just wrote will be out in the world in only a few months.

Is one method better than another? I’m not sure. The first feels more organic. The second feels more structured. Even though I’m not usually an outliner, I had no choice but to really plan out Book 2 before I started writing it. Then, when problems emerged, I spent more time brainstorming rather than actually playing around with the manuscript since I didn’t have time to risk going in the wrong direction.

Ultimately, the main difference is time. I’ve been lucky that in working on Book 2, the problems that arose were relatively minor and only required a few days to figure out. If a major problem came up, however, I think that would be incredibly stressful since I’ve definitely felt the deadline clock ticking in the background.

The main thing writing on deadline has done is reminded me of the importance of treating writing as a job; otherwise, that project probably isn’t going to get done. That’s a lesson I’m trying to carry over to my other manuscripts as well.

Has anyone else been writing under deadline? How did you feel about the experience?

Originally published at www.annastan.com