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Deadlines Can Be A Writer's Best Friend
by: Bonnie Boots
SUMMARY: A commitment to meeting deadlines can make any writer a winner with the editors and lead to personal and professional growth.


Deadlines Can Be A Writerís Best Friend
By Bonnie Boots

I click the ďsendĒ button on my e-mail and my article is instantly transmitted to a magazine. Minutes later, I have a reply from the editor. It reads ďSnappy writing and five days before deadline! Thanks, Bonnie. Youíre an editors dream.Ē


I believe Iím a good writer, but more important, at least as far as editors are concerned, Iím a disciplined writer. I never miss a deadline. I hear other writers grousing about deadlines, even disregarding them until an unhappy editor prods them. Thatís a shame, because respecting deadlines can help you mature personally and professionally.


The word "deadline" can be traced back to the Civil War when prisoners were sometimes secured with nothing more than a line drawn in the dirt. Cross that line, they were told, and youíre dead! I take deadlines just as seriously. Even during the most trying personal circumstances, I meet my writing commitments. Once, I even wrote a newspaper column as I sat with a dying parent. It was hard, very hard to focus my thoughts and write, but the personal strength I conjured that day translated into writing so powerful it brought my career to a new level.


As I wrote that day I wasnít thinking about winning awards. I was thinking of only one thing: I had to meet my deadline. Writing each word was a struggle. When Iíd finish a sentence, Iíd rest, feeling like Iíd just made it another fifty feet up Mount Everest. When I completed that column, my personal resources were spent. Like a horse thatís been whipped to reach the finish line, I was exhausted physically and emotionally and wondered where Iíd ever find the strength to write again.


The next week, however, habit kicked in and I kicked out another column. In fact, I never missed a column through one of the most traumatic events of my life. Such is the power of established, disciplined writing habits.


The discipline I developed by always meeting deadlines has served me well both personally and professionally. Personally, itís given me the power to persevere through circumstances that might otherwise have crushed me. Professionally, itís given me a reputation among editors as a writer that can be relied on. Iíve had editors carry my name with them as they moved from publication to publication, even calling me for work I had no background in, simply because they knew I was one hundred percent reliable.


One editor worked on dozens of different magazines during my association with her, calling me to write about topics ranging from doll designers to antique autos. When I protested I knew nothing about cars, she scolded me, saying, ďI donít need a mechanical expert. I have a dozen. What I need is one writer that can actually meet a deadline.Ē


Editors resent having to baby-sit writers, calling to coax, coddle, even threaten writers to get them moving toward their deadline. ďItís like herding cats!Ē one editor wailed. Yet, often, thatís where an editorís time and energy are spent. Imagine the good impression youíll make by being a writer thatís mature enough to take your work and responsibilities seriously. You may have less experience than other writers, but editors will see you as a real professional. You may have less talent than other writers, but editors will see you as something better than geniusótheyíll see you as a writer that delivers on deadline.


BONNIE BOOTS (www.BonnieBoots.com)is an award-winning writer and designer who says all writers should show off their talent by wearing their Write Side Out! Her wise and witty product line of gear that shows the world you're a writer is at www.writesideout.com


About the author:
BONNIE BOOTS (www.BonnieBoots.com)is an award-winning writer and designer who says all writers should show off their talent by wearing their Write Side Out! Her wise and witty product line of gear that shows the world you're a writer is at www.writesideout.com


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