by Olivia Brennan.
The word deadline is something all writers need to start thinking positively about, because no matter whether you’re a beginner screenwriter or a professional, working to a deadline is not only essential, but can be a very positive thing when it comes to your writing.
Firstly, all writers should have a deadline of sorts when it comes to their projects, especially if they have multiple projects on the go at any given time. Having a deadline can encourage focus and maximise effort and productivity in a sometimes-overwhelming schedule, even if you have only fifteen minutes to spare!
Here’s 3 top tips all writers can implement to manage their work schedule more easily, and help you submit your writing project on time!
1) GIVE YOURSELF A TIME LIMIT
Even if you’re not getting paid to write that spec, if you’re serious about screenwriting/writing in general, then you need to be working towards an ‘end date’ or with a time limit in mind.
2) BE FOCUSED AND PRIORITISE
Whether it’s an article, competition submission or your spec script, you need to prioritise what aspect of your project needs your attention first. A few things to consider while doing this are; if it’s paid work (such as an article, blog post etc.) then that should come first as you’re reporting to somebody else, if it’s a set deadline for a competition then that should come next (because it’s a set deadline), and finally your own projects (if needs be set a flexible deadline).
Often writers can be so bogged down in what they must do, that the pressure stops them from starting any of it.
Here’s a few tips on how to beat those writing expectations!
3) THERE’S ALWAYS TIME
You’re too busy, have too much work, not enough time and/or all the above. Sometimes, life just happens and all your expectations can go out the window which not only causes you stress but may mean you miss out on a great writing opportunity. So, the best way to avoid this from happening or at least feeling better prepared to handle unforeseen circumstances is to always make time.
What all writers need to remember is that sometimes, we all have one of those days where the words aren’t coming. If you can’t afford to tear yourself away from the laptop due to time constraints then I would suggest a ‘writing burst.’ Set yourself a manageable bite-size task of 300 words towards your article, novel or script before taking a break.
So, don’t get lost on your writing journey; give yourself the best chance to meet any opportunity that comes your way by being prepared!
Olivia Brennan is a 28-year-old screenwriter & blogger. You can find more of her articles covering industry interviews, writing craft & filmmaking tips over at her blog Into The Script, and you can follow Liv on Twitter – @LivSFB