Writing to Deadlines

How’s everyone doing on NaNoWriMo? I’ll admit, I haven’t done nearly as much as I had hoped. My story last year was so compelling to me, and the first part of it was almost like writing straight from my heart, that it just flowed so well for me. This story I’m writing this year is a fantasy novel. Fantasy readers and science fiction readers are some of the hardest readers to write for. They are very active readers, as a whole, and they are quick to spot inconsistencies.

So, I’ve been meticulous in this story, Firestorm, that I’m writing. I wish that were the excuse for why I’m so far behind on NaNoWriMo this year, but it’s not.

I still think I have a chance to catch up; I do. No, really, I do.

Then again, I might just be living in my own fantasy book when I say that. Generally speaking, you have to actually WRITE to finish a novel, you know? Well, I haven’t been writing.

It’s not writer’s block. It’s not that I can’t write, since I’m doing some blogs and I’m playing around with some other stuff. I’m just not writing in the book.

I’m not bored by it. I find the book interesting. I’m really curious to see what happens next.

Then it hits me… *I* have to write what happens next. Oh. Well. In that case….

…and I’m off to other things.

This is strange for me, since usually I’m writing all the freaking time.

Now, if it weren’t for NaNoWriMo, I’d probably just switch to another one of my works in progress, work on it for awhile, and then come back to the first one.

I think I’ve finally figured out that I really hate writing deadlines. I work fantastic under pressure. I mean, contact me and tell me you need an article by tomorrow morning, and I’ll pop out one of the best articles you’ve ever read. Tell me you need it two weeks from next Friday, and I’ll flounder until Thursday night. I mean, I might do some research, and save or bookmark a few things. I might make notes. Maybe. But the bulk of the writing will be done at crunch time.

I wonder why I’m like that? Maybe I need the stress. There’s really no stress in my life most of the time, so maybe I miss it some. After working in advocacy and criminal justice for so long, which is a really high-stress job, to sitting in my PJs with my feet up in the recliner doing what I love… well, no stress.

I didn’t want to take a job with About.com or Suite101 because both of those places require a minimum number of articles per week/month/etc. That somehow seems too much like a job for me. I love being contracted to write an article, but have turned down offers to be a staff writer. I have enjoyed contract freelance editing, but have turned down offers to be an EIC for a publisher.

I like working to my own schedule, when I want, how I want. But some people can’t do that. If left completely to their own devices, some people will not make money. Some people need the structure of the deadline, the assignment and someone to ‘report’ to.

What type of writer are you? Do you like deadlines? Do you need the structure and schedule?

Do you prefer to work on your own timetable and submit only when you feel like writing? Can you stay focused enough to keep the money coming in if you’re not being assigned ‘jobs’?

Before you really jump into freelancing or even book contracts, these things are important things to consider.

So, anyone care to share your preference?

Love and stuff,