The Power of Deadlines

Another quick one from me today, because I have about 70,000 words to write before December.

nervous laugh

So with that being very much on my mind, it makes sense to talk about the power of deadlines. After all, you can’t pursue publication if you can’t finish a book, and as far as I’m concerned there is no power on this earth more motivating than a deadline (except maybe food).

This particular deadline has not been set by me, but most of my writing deadlines are. I find this helps to prevent the kind of situations I end up with in my non-writing life, where I have ‘sort out Tesco clubcard’ on my to-do list for literally nine months and then realise it takes about eight minutes to tick off. Even if I don’t meet my personal deadlines, which I often don’t, I find it hugely helpful to have them anyway – I guarantee I get more done when I have a made-up deadline than when I just meander around writing ‘when the mood strikes me’ (which at the minute is for about five minutes every three weeks, and usually when I’m already half-asleep in bed).

But this deadline is different, as it is my annual deadline to submit to the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. I’ve submitted to this, I think, three times so far, and never gotten anywhere at all – but I think it’s the best competition of it’s nature, and so far it’s been doing a sterling job of helping me crank out roughly a book a year.

The official competition closing date hasn’t even been announced yet, but as it’s usually in December and I currently only have 11,000 words of my new project, please excuse me while I go scribble down some words / stare aimlessly out of the window with a Word Doc open on my lap.


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