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Category Archives: The Writing Life

What To Do When You Miss A Writing Or Publishing Deadline | Writer’s Relief

Writer’s Relief knows there are two kinds of deadlines in a writer’s life: those you set for yourself, and those literary agents or editors set for you.

If you ignore your own self-imposed deadlines in favor of sleeping in a few extra minutes every day, you only have yourself to answer to.

But if you miss a writing or publishing deadline set by an agent or editor, it could derail your writing career. So what should you do when you suddenly glance at your watch, gasp, and realize you’re late?

7 Tips For Handling A Missed Deadline With Grace And Professionalism

Take the blame. You might be tempted to point to your editor’s unreasonable expectations or unexpected occurrences in your life, but editors and literary agents will appreciate it when you take responsibility.

Offer an explanation. Do you have a good reason for missing your deadline? Literary agents and editors want to be supportive of your writing: grant them the chance by giving them a legitimate explanation. Without passing blame or making excuses, briefly state the reason for missing your deadline.

Ask for a specific extension. Editors and agents have printers, coworkers, and bosses to answer to, so give them hard facts they can pass along. Let your editor and/or agent know exactly how much more time you need to meet your writing obligations.

Demonstrate understanding of the larger issues in play. Your deadline lapse may have a ripple effect and make other people’s jobs more difficult. So you may want to apologize for making your agent or editor’s life unnecessarily complicated.

Make the call. While your go-to means of communicating about your manuscript may be email—in this case, a phone call may be required to smooth ruffled feathers.

Be willing to take unconventional steps. Let your editor or agent know you are open to suggestions about how you might ameliorate any damage caused by you bungling the deadline. Perhaps your editor would be willing to start on the first half of your manuscript while you keep working on the second half.

Say thank you. Offer a sincere expression of gratitude to both your editor and agent for understanding.

The Best Way To Handle Deadline Drama…Is To Avoid It Entirely

If you take on a deadline, be sure you have realistic expectations of your own writing goals. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Calculate how many words you’ll need to write or revise every day to arrive at a rough estimate for a feasible timeline. Then, give yourself 15% padding—to allow for unforeseeable complications. If your projected numbers don’t match your editor’s deadline expectations, negotiate your due date ASAP—before it’s too late.

Click here to learn 11 tips that will help you stay on track when you’re writing on a deadline.

 

Question: Have you ever blown a deadline? How did you handle it?

Tax Organization Hacks To Simplify Your Writer Write-Offs | Writer’s Relief

Keeping track of your creative writing expenses in order to claim self-employment business write-offs on your tax forms can be a huge hassle. But not tracking these expenses throughout the year could lead to backtracking and scrambling, a loss of precious writing time, or costly tax mistakes and penalties. At Writer’s Relief, we know keeping… Continue Reading

Writing Lessons Inspired By Mr. Rogers | Writer’s Relief

March 20 is the birthday of beloved children’s television show host Mr. Rogers. Countless fans learned valuable lessons from Fred Rogers throughout the years. And while his show was geared toward children, at Writer’s Relief we feel that adults can learn from his teachings too—including writers! Here are a few writing lessons inspired by the… Continue Reading

5 Steps To Find The Best Possible Literary Agent For Your Book | Writer’s Relief

When you begin querying literary agents to represent your novel or memoir, what steps can you take to ensure you’ll connect with the best possible literary agent—one you’ll really, really like? Here at Writer’s Relief, we’ve been helping writers find the right literary agents since 1994. So we have some tried-and-true tips that can help… Continue Reading

27 Quick-Fix Self-Editing Hacks That Will Instantly Make You A Better Writer | Writer’s Relief

To quote author Dr. Seuss (who once wrote a story using only fifty words), “…the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.” At Writer’s Relief, we know that, after creating a first draft, it’s important for writers to know how to self-edit their novels, short stories, memoirs, and other creative prose. Effective editing will help… Continue Reading



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