Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Importance of Padding for Writers (and other publishing professionals)

The clock in my car is set 6 minutes ahead. I do this, because I understand my natural tendency to wait until the last minute (literally) to get things done. It seems like I'm always trying to accomplish one more task, whether that task is productive (like doing a load of laundry) or not so much (like going over my fantasy football draft strategy).

Anyway, that 6-minute shock to my system always seems to get me where I'm going on time--and even early occasionally.

Right now, I'm starting the process of working on the 2013 Writer's Market and Poet's Market books. We already have a rather crude production schedule layed out, but you can bet that I'm setting everything 6 minutes (or days) ahead--and for the same reasoning. If I'm running behind (or a freelancer is late with an assignment), I want to have the flexibility to get things back on track.

As some of you know, I'm also currently working on my second chapbook of poetry titled ESCAPE. You better believe I padded that production schedule as well, because I know that family and work emergencies (knock on wood) don't give advance warning. If I don't need the padding, then I'm ahead of schedule. If I do need the padding, then I'm not losing my mind.

That extra 6 minutes is what helps me keep my sanity and hit deadlines.


Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.


If you're interested in my second chapbook ESCAPE, click here to learn how to pre-order a copy. They're only $10 and part of a limited edition (only 101 copies). More than 30% have already been reserved, and my first collection ENTER sold out within a month earlier this year.

If poetry isn't your thing, you might still be interested in the 2012 Writer's Market or Writer's Market Deluxe Edition. Both books were recently released and include thousands of publishing opportunities, more than 200 pages of marketing and business of writing advice, and even an hour-long webinar on platform development (hosted by yours truly). After more than a decade on the series, I think it's the best yet!


kjmckendry said...

I do the same thing with my clocks. The only problem is each one is set a little differently so I never really know what time it is unless I check my cellphone!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Having a lot of different times can definitely turn problematic. But yeah, for me, my cellphone is the gold standard on telling the time.

Anonymous said...

I quit padding about 2 years ago...

I've never been later since! But at least I know what time it really is. ;D

Jess said...

Reading your entry, I'm caught in your conversation about needing extra time, about how you build in a time buffer with your padding... then I notice your blurb about connecting with you on different social media... and suddenly I am back to worrying about how I don't pad, I stuff instead. The other day I was reading another blog, and a writer was relaying what a friend had recently told her: "The blog ate the book (manuscript), and twitter ate the blog." Padding and stuffing... they seem similar, but a quick comparison belies that relationship. So any advice about how to balance all the different kinds of writing we all like to do?