Writing–Deadlines: Making Them

I like deadlines. Deadlines keep me motivated and they keep me honest. I don’t like missing them. Self-imposed or someone else’s, they do me good.

I don’t like missing deadlines. Even if they’re important to no one else but me, I don’t like to miss them. I don’t like to make that adjustment on my day planner. If I write it down, it’s set in stone.

I’m also a dedicated procrastinator. I’m excellent at putting off, which conflicts with my need to meet deadlines.

I’ve gotten better at managing my time and making myself get started. With my self-imposed deadlines, I’ve recognized that I’m better off giving myself a little more time than I think I’ll need. If I set a specific goal in mind for a given day, that helps, too. It’s like a mini-deadline. I need to have this done before I go to sleep. A few of those and the overall deadline is met without much effort.

There are times when this doesn’t work out, of course. For whatever reason, the motivation isn’t there. It’s too much effort to open the file, let alone read the words on the screen. I can’t think of how to phrase what I want to say or change what needs to be changed. The “I don’t feel like it” refrain echoes through my brain.

Which means that when the deadline is looming, the fire gets lit under my butt. The focus might not always be there, but the dedication is and I do whatever it takes to get the job done. Sometimes this means struggling late into the night. Other times, it means I find an hour’s worth of focus, get the job done, and feel like a complete moron for not just doing it sooner so I could have had the whole thing accomplished and off of my plate sooner.

I try to seize the real productive moments whenever I have them. There are sometimes when I’m just in a demolishing mood and I try to get as much done as possible. For example, this past weekend I was hitting all cylinders and as such, I knocked out six blog posts in two days. It was nice to be done with them all with hours to spare before bedtime.

Of course, this came after I spent all week struggling to make revisions on “Phobias Are How Rumors Get Started”, having major trouble getting started, only to find that what I really needed to do took me about half an hour.

But I met my deadline.

“Phobias Are How Rumors Get Started” is now posted. It’ll be up for the next six weeks. Enjoy.

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