Friday 6 April 2018

Ten Tips for Dealing With Deadlines

By Kathryn Evans


I am neck deep in edits at the moment, and spending 8-10 hours a day typing, so I planned to write this post about practical ways to deal with deadlines.  I asked my fellow slushies for their advice and the very lovely Jo Wyton pointed out that this blog is primarily for writers still on the slushpile. Writers who long for a deadline.

How could I have forgotten? That was me,  until fairly recently. More of Me only came out in 2016 after many, many years of trying to get published.

Five years ago, if  I'd have read the post, I'd have wanted to say:


BUT we can give ourselves deadlines and I suggest that you do. You can make them feel real  by telling someone. I meet every month with a group of fellow writers from SCBWI. We set ourselves targets and know we have to own up the next month if we don't meet them. Though self imposed, this commitment  honestly helps keep you writing.

Deadlines can be really helpful. They give you focus and drive - sure, they can also make you panic and give you RSI.  So, if you don't have wether you have an imposed deadline or you self create one,  be positive about them and do these practical things  to keep your mind and body in good order!

Kathryn Evans' Top Ten Tips for Dealing With Deadlines.

  1. Get up and moving  every twenty minutes - walk, star jump, roll your shoulders -anything you like but for a few minutes, have a good old wriggle.
  2. Install a standing desk - sitting down too much is no good for your stomach muscles and they, in turn, support your back. Switching between sitting and standing  is so much better for you than sitting all day.
  3. Don't use caffeine to keep you alert -top advice from Paula Harrison - it'll leave you with headaches and a racing heart.
  4. Candy Gourlay uses Headspace, the meditation app. I use this too and find that taking 10 minutes out of my day to just breathe is really energising.
  5. Don't work at a computer screen for the  30 minutes before you go to bed, it won't help you sleep.
  6. Install f.lux on your computer It dims your screen at sunset and brightens it at sunrise helping to keep your body more in sync for sleep and preventing tired eyes.
  7. Get some fresh air - go outside and fill your lungs, look at the clouds, expand your view and free your mind.
  8. Eat well. Don't be tempted to stuff yourself with junk because time is short, your body needs nutrients. I keep a ready-cooked roast chicken in the fridge and bags of salad- super easy, healthy lunches - and I always have fruit in the house: fresh, tinned, dry and frozen. Frozen grapes are a delicious treat!
  9. Speak to someone who understands - letting off steam when you feel under pressure can really help.
  10. Take a minute to watch a cute animal video - they genuinely reduce stress! 


 Kathryn Evans is the award winning author of More of MeA gripping thriller with a sinister sci-fi edge, exploring family, identity and sacrifice. She loves faffing about on social media: find her  on Facebook and Instagram @kathrynevansauthor and tweeting @KathrynEvansInk.  

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