Meta Monday: Deadline Ahead!

img_20170123_174501594The 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?

About Jenn Moss

Author * Web Serialist * Virtual Addict
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15 Responses to Meta Monday: Deadline Ahead!

  1. I’m a fire preventer rather than a firefighter. Can I work under pressure? Yes. Is it my best work? No.

    I prefer to level-load things rather than to wait until the last minute and panic.

    Hope work goes better!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. J.R. Handley says:

    They both stress me out and motivate me to write… like a dual edge weapon. But honestly, I’m harder on myself than Boss Man or the Editor are. I want to reach pulp fiction speeds, and I want it YESTERDAY!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Joan Enoch says:

    Not so keen on deadlines. I write anyway – it is necessary to my sense of well-being. I don’t need anyone with a whip to get me going. Hate all that stuff. And then people say you don’t live in the real world if you can’t manage things like that (whips ‘n’ stuff). Really? I don’t know. From where I sit, things look real enough.


    • Jenn Moss says:

      You’re right; I don’t think the ‘real world’ needs to include whip cracking. Or, at least, not for everyone. I think it’s very much an individual thing–whether we work well to a deadline or not , I mean. And that applies to writers and everyone else.

      Glad to hear, though, that writing itself is motivation enough for you. If you don’t need a ticking clock to inspire your words, so much the better!


  4. Akaluv says:

    I like deadlines; they help me hit my target goals. I usually have personal deadlines for myself =)


    • Jenn Moss says:

      Nice! To an extent, they work for me too. Without any deadline, I just write bits and pieces and never complete a story. But I’d prefer not to be trying to finish at the last minute!


  5. I like to be done two weeks ahead of time and show up at appointments with ten minutes to spare. Deadlines ruin me. If I cut it too close, my brain shuts down. I just let it go and fail instead.


  6. Adam says:

    I find deadlines often hurt my writing process. The looming deadline triggers anxiety, which weakens my focus. I do my best work when I know that a story can take as long as it takes.
    I may strive to work hard on a project, but I find that if I focus on a specific deadine, I often sacrifice quality to meet the deadline.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jenn Moss says:

      Yes, that’s an understandable concern. Sometimes that’s the case for me too. Everyone once in a while, though, I think a deadline actually makes my story better. (At least for short stories. Probably not for novels so much.)


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