18 November 2010

It's all about the deadlines

I used to be a newspaper reporter. Deadlines were part of my daily existence.

It's a good thing deadlines and I get along because -- whoo-boy -- I am stacked behind deadlines from now till the end of the year.

In my job, I'm a fundraiser and write a lot of grants for that. This is a big season for grant applications and filing end-of-the-year reports about how we spent the money before we ask for more. On my dry erase board at work, I have 14 writing projects that need completed before Dec. 31. The deadlines on that board represent, roughly, a potential $1.1 million for Starfish Initiative. That's major money and that will make it possible for a lot of kids to stay on track to graduation.

In my personal writing, I'm waiting to hear back on some firm deadlines for writing I'm doing for Advent for my church. It's looking like those pieces will be published online so I'll post links when I can. But first, I have to finish them. Four pieces, one for each Sunday of Advent. I have one done, one in revisions, one being drafted and one needing started. Advent starts on Nov. 28. The done piece is the first one up and so on for the whole four-part series, but Advent is a lot closer than it appears.

And so, I'm spacing out my deadlines to make sure it all gets done on time. Writing in the morning before work. Writing at work gets fit in between meetings and I'm pacing out how to get projects due on the same day done. After work is revision time.

All together, the deadlines can be a little overwhelming. But, taken one at a time, it's totally doable.

I have noticed, I'm drinking more caffeine... What's your deadline fix? Or, how do you manage multiple projects at a time?

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