One of the best ways to remain sane while meeting deadlines: knowing where you are headed before you write. Beginning with the end in mind means understanding why you’re writing (therapeutic, publish a book, capture family history, generate revenue), who’s your audience and what you want them to gain by reading your work. Once you know where you are headed, it's easier to create a plan to get there whether one inch (paragraph) or mile (chapter) at a time. Hosting focus groups: virtual or live, brainstorming lists and creating detailed chapter outlines can help take you from pen to paper.
I stay ahead of deadlines by writing during spare moments. Using the Notes App on my smart phone, I jot ideas when I'm riding in a car, standing in line, waiting for meetings to begin, waiting for takeout or a restaurant table and relaxing at the homes of family members. Some times, I record ideas and then transform them into complete, coherent sentences as time permits. If you enjoy writing as much as I do, you’ll be awakened in the middle of the night with ideas. Keep a pen and paper or recording device next to your bed. Try as you might, you won’t remember the life-changing idea in the morning.
Once all my ideas are on paper and in a logical order, I make the writing flourish by varying sentence patterns and transition words, checking for redundancies and building upon the idea to produce excellent documents. For me, the most important step is getting the ideas on paper.
Set aside the work to “cool,” then read, revise and repeat until it is ready. It’s helpful to have a buddy who can read your work critically and return it with meaningful suggestions. Another author is a good idea, one for whom you can return the favor. Although they may be your biggest supporters, family members and friends are not necessarily the best at giving expert, unbiased feedback.
Some other tips to help you meet those deadlines include
• Time blocking. Prioritize your commitment to write by adding it to your calendar. Schedule the writing during your more productive hours.
• Minimize distractions. You may not be effective writing at home or on the job. Find a quiet place with Wi-Fi, restrooms and food.
• Method of composition. Do you compose by hand, computer or voice recorder? Whatever works best for you, use it.
These ideas can help optimize your writing experience, finish your project on schedule and maintain your sanity.
Passionate about creating tomorrow’s leaders, Best-Selling Amazon Author Dr. Sonia Cunningham Leverette combines her love for children with books. Wife, mother and veteran educator with almost thirty years of experience, Dr. Leverette focuses extensively on meeting the needs of grade school students including how to deal with bullying, leadership, teamwork, problem solving and character building.
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