articles, Copywriting, Writing
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Living on Deadlines, Word Counts, and Plenty of Tea

photo show a cup of tea

“One forges one’s style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.”  ― Émile Zola

Deadline—the very word has the power to spark fear in the hearts of professionals in any field, that dreaded date often inspiring the same anticipation as a dentist appointment.

As a freelance writer, assignment deadlines are part of my life nearly every day. I always have a deadline—or more likely, several—looming in my immediate future. And I’ve had to learn to live with that fact given my chosen profession.

It can be difficult at times to flex your creative muscles when you’re under the pressure of a deadline. So like many writers, I’ve developed my own method for coping and keeping myself motivated. It usually involves lots of tea—black, with milk and a little bit of sugar—and locking myself in my home office for several hours at a time. And sometimes pizza.

I have to admit, though, that there’s nothing like an impending deadline to inspire you to get things done. There have been times when I’ve been working on an article and just couldn’t get it right. I didn’t like this part or that, or it was over the assigned word count by 200 words and I couldn’t decide which parts to cut. But whenever that happens, I eventually reach a point when I just have to make a decision and get it done if I want to turn it in on time (which, of course, I do). And then, what do you know? I end up cranking out something awesome—and on time to boot. Sometimes, as I’ve found, you just need that deadline pressure to motivate you for that final push to the finish line.

If you’re anything like me, just make sure you have plenty of tea stocked.

So, fellow writers, and other professionals who face regular deadlines, how do you cope with deadline pressure? Share your thoughts below!

This entry was posted in: articles, Copywriting, Writing


Missy Sheehan is a freelance writer and editor and the owner of Sheehan Writing & Editing, a one-woman operation that offers writing and editing services for publications, businesses, and authors. Missy specializes in writing articles for consumer and trade magazines as well as press releases and other public relations and marketing materials for businesses. She also copy edits and proofreads documents ranging from short blog posts to book-length manuscripts. Visit to learn more.

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