How are you going to meet that impending writing deadline? Instead of getting overwhelmed by the process, follow this simple outline for the best results! I like to use the acronym CREDO.
C-CALENDAR- Get out your calendar, day planner, iPhone, or whatever type of organizer you use. Mark down your deadline or project end date. Then divide up your large project into smaller increments. For example, if you have a book to write consisting of twelve chapters, divide up the chapters and estimate how long you can spend on each one. Be sure to leave yourself extra time at the end in case one or more chapters take more time than you estimate. Always give yourself a little leeway for emergencies, writer’s block, and those necessary Starbucks runs.
R-RESIST and REWARD- Resist the temptation to procrastinate. Several of my writer friends endorse the BIC method for completing projects: Butt In Chair. Schedule writing time on your calendar for each day and do it. If it helps you to set a word-count goal (for example, I will write 500 words today), then do that. And always reward yourself for meeting your goal with a walk outside, a few M&M’s, a refreshing phone call to a friend, or whatever works for you.
E-ESTABLISH A ROUTINE- Establish a pattern for yourself so writing becomes a habit. Determine your best time of day for writing and carve out that time. Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone, get a babysitter for the kids, or tell your spouse that you need some private time. One author friend of mine tells her kids not to interrupt her unless one of the two B’s is in effect: someone is bleeding or something is broken.
D-DIVIDE AND CONQUER- Divide up your project into smaller increments to make it more manageable. And, even though creative people cringe at this word, remember that discipline will be necessary in order for you to finish your project on time. If you get knee-deep into the project and discover that you may not meet your deadline, communicate that to your client as soon as possible.
O-ORGANIZE- Keep your project notes and other materials organized and away from kids, pets, and anything that could damage them. Back up your written work daily on a flash drive or Internet backup site. As you write, keep notes on any questions or comments you need to communicate to your client. Also write down any tips or ideas that will be helpful to you in the future when you work on similar projects.
Follow CREDO and you’ll be golden!