Joining writing groups to stick to deadlines

Deadline imageDeadlines are a writer’s best friend.

Unfortunately, they’re often a moving target. Maybe writers with six or seven figure advances whose contracts detail very precise deadlines have fewer problems, but for the rest of the mere mortals writers out there, deadlines are often self-imposed.

That’s why writers can be quite creative in figuring out ways to meet deadlines. I’ve already posted about this month’s NaNoWriMo competition, where 300,000 novelists and would-be novelists push themselves to write 50,000 words in a  month.

Writing contests and writing prompts are another way to impose deadlines on a writing schedule.

I’ve found writing groups to be particularly helpful. My writing group meets up in my city every two weeks and we all know that we have to complete something to be able to read and discuss with the group. It may not be highly polished, but it must be completed, and I think this discipline works well for us all.

Likewise, my on-line critique group also forces me to get chapter after chapter up each week. Many a week I’ve pushed myself to write and get my chapter up because I knew a posting date was coming around and I didn’t want to miss it.

And you, dear writers? Do you find writing groups help you to stick to deadlines? Any other hints and suggestions? Magic wands are always welcome!


  1. Catherine on November 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I like the idea of deadlines in theory, but the idea terrifies me. Being a terrible organiser of time, I always have ten unfinished things/worries in my head. I really need to clear the deck and address work more efficiently. You are right about adhering to timeframes and getting your work out there, but I think I revel in the whole isolated sedimentation process. I take ages to pull fresh work out! Back to editing xcat

  2. kimberlysullivan on November 16, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Yes, Catherine. There’s something to be said for the whole sedimentation process. It probably shows my flaws, however, but if I didn’t kick myself, I’d stay in that stage forever. : ) Visiting another writing group can also do wonders. Hint, hint. We await your visit to Rome. Good luck with editing!

  3. KimGM on November 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Kim, what is the name of your online writer’s group? I like the idea of being in a writer’s group and was a member for of a group for close to ten years. Work got in the way so I haven’t had time to attend their meetings for a year now. Maybe what I need is an online group.

  4. Julia on November 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    It’s good that you find a good method to achieve your purposes and goals. My own deadlines and goals need to come from within. In other words, external factors stress me out. I have always been the kind of person who sticks to self-discipline and personal motivations. I feel intimidated by external forces.

    • kimberlysullivan on November 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Well, one certainly can’t argue with self-discipline and motivation, Julia. Even better! : )

  5. Chantel Rhondeau on November 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I’m very self-motivated, but at those times when I’m having a slump, it always helps to have a critique partner say they really enjoy something. Then, I feel a little more obligated to write the next thing if someone is interested in reading it 😉

  6. mymindtothepage on November 17, 2012 at 5:34 am

    No magic wand. Wish I had one. NaNo is a good kick in the pants to write, but that’s not enough to make me finish, which is why I post my story, horrible warts, wandering plot, horrendous grammar and all, to my blog. I know it’s not perfect, but forcing myself to post it for my handful of friends makes me forge through those times when I just CAN’T write. Can’t becomes MUST and, must becomes DONE. Works for me.

  7. kimberlysullivan on November 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks so much Chantel and My Mind on the Page. I love to see how authors all have their different methods to stay motivated. Although I still would love to get my hand on that magic wand… : )

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