Deadlines: When & How to Ask for More Time
There are writers who thrive on having deadlines and writers who abhor them. Other writers are addicted to them. There are ways to schedule an assignment to meet a client’s deadline. And there are right ways and wrong ways to ask for more time when missing a deadline. What are they?
Writers who are addicted to deadlines seldom plan ahead. When they do and it works, they unconsciously miss the adrenaline rush that comes with pushing a deadline. They will only remember, after they’ve almost missed the deadline, the copywriting swipe file they set up last time with articles they could shorten or translate.
Writers who thrive on deadlines, or who are so good at planning they hardly notice a deadline, are prevention focused. They use a deadline to schedule their writing time right away, so there is no question they’ll meet it. They take actions like the following:
- Set up a bookmarks file with websites informative about their favorite topics. Whenever they research and write on a new topic, they bookmark the most informative site they found.
- Set up a copywriting swipe file with well written articles on topics of interest. These are especially useful, if the articles are long and can be reworded to meet a WA client’s needs. Otherwise, they help trigger ideas.
- Choose only assignments they know something about. The more they know, the less time they’ll need to write.
- Match the assignment right away with their own writing speed and schedule to make sure they’ll have enough time.
- Schedule their writing time to start when the article time slot starts, instead of waiting until near the end.
Dealing with the Deadline
Writers who take preventive action seldom have problems with meeting deadlines. Writers who do not, often do. If a writer misses too many deadlines, they will lose credibility with the client. Even so, for those times when a writer knows there is not enough time to finish an assignment as envisioned, here are a few solutions to choose from, depending on the cause:
- Stop. Polish. Submit. – Perfectionist writers (like myself) sometimes envision too big. If you are one, stop writing when you see yourself running out of time. Delete an incomplete subtopic, if you have one. Reread what’s left and polish it up.
- Contact the Client – Clients are generally pretty understanding. If you have problems with Internet access, family situations, or personal emergencies you can contact them. Go to your content assignment page, scroll down to the comment box, and send a message asking for more time.
- Contact Writer Access Staff – If the problem is a misunderstanding between you and client, or if you’ve had problems with the WA site, send a message to the WA Help Desk.
Even the best of writers have problems at times. With the combination of prevention techniques and solutions such as these, those times can be cut to a minimum.
Susette H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.