- Focus. A deadline makes me focus. I plan my writing so I know I am doing the final edit a good few days ahead of that deadline. So therefore I must do other edits and the actual writing even further back than that. Planning my writing helps me make the most of the creative time I've got.
- Discipline. Every competition has a deadline so practicing writing to one, whether you are entering a competition or not, is very good discipline. I've found I quickly got used to doing this and now it's second nature.
- Freeing up other writing time. Because I have to plan my writing (see 1 above), I find I write more. Okay confession time, my big weakness is social media, especially Facebook. I've not yet got to the point of needing to put a blocker on but know it's an option if I do need it. Generally though I write more now than I ever used to because I plan out what I write and I set myself deadlines for almost everything. I blog on my websites daily (illness and holidays excepting), I set myself a new Chandler's Ford Today post to write each week and so on.
- Letting Go. Particularly true for competition writing, this advantage means you have to let a piece of work go and test the market with it if you want to go in for the competition. You do have to be in it to have a chance of winning it after all. It is easy to hang on to a piece and say to yourself I'll just give it more one review etc but having to meet a deadline stops that. You do have to get the work out there. It is the point of writing it after all.
- Getting ready to be a professional writer. All professional writers have to work to a deadline to meet their objectives, publishers' requirements and so on. Writing to a deadline now gets you into the habit of doing it in the happy hope that one day you too will be a professional writer and this habit is now permanent. It stands you in good stead.
I find writing to a deadline (be it an official one or one I impose on myself) very helpful. Why?
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.