The clock is ticking. I have a short story for a contest due tonight on the LegendFire forums. I may or may not make the deadline. And I’m curious, in a detached sort of way, to see if I do.
I haven’t been ignoring this deadline. I’ve been steadily working on the story. But it’s not ready for showtime yet. And I don’t know that I can whip it into shape on time.
Yet I’m not stressing out. I’m not pecking furiously at my keyboard. What the heck happened to me?
Usually a deadline inspires me to write hard and edit hard and do it all double quick. Not tonight. Not these past two weeks. I’ve got serious work in front of me and I’m glad to tackle it, but if the story’s not in good shape by midnight . . . well, I can let the contest go.
This lack of panic is a new thing. I wish I could say it’s my reward for meditating more often—but I think it’s more about the fact that I’m worn out from a new position at work with longer, more demanding hours. My body is lagging, so my brain can’t bother to get as frantic over a deadline as it usually does. And therefore said deadline has lost its power to motivate me.
How about you? Do deadlines inspire you or terrify you? Do you write your best stuff under pressure, or does the pressure kill your Muse? At the end of the day, does a deadline help you or hurt you? Does it depend on the project?