Deadlines. You either love them or you hate them. And by that, I mean everyone hates them, even though, for many, they are a lifeline.
Some writers cannot function without deadlines. They need a set endpoint to work toward in a timely manner (or not), if they ever plan on getting any writing done. Some writers absolutely crumble in the face of deadlines. It’s too much pressure. They need to work on their own time, at their own pace, or, once again, nothing will ever get done.
There is nothing ‘wrong’ with either of these two things, unless of course you are trying to write professionally but can’t make deadlines to save your life. In that case, you need to find some kind of balance between writing consistently without feeling too pressured to rush through your writing simply for the sake of getting it done.
For those who really want to be better at meeting deadlines, know that setting your own deadlines and trying to hold yourself accountable does not always work. The best recommendation I have is to, in one way or another, start writing on behalf of someone who will hold you to a deadline. I’ve had writers in the past who have told me that if it wasn’t for my strict deadlines, they would have never learned how to manage their time to avoid being late. Of course, that might mean you miss a deadline and get penalized. It happens. It’s happened to me. Failure is one of the best ways to learn to NOT do something (and/or how to do something else better).
It’s OK to be dependent on deadlines. After awhile, you really do get used to quicker turnarounds. And if you are a procrastinator, you learn how far you can push yourself, and how to utilize pressure to drive your creativity, and energy, forward, especially when it’s crunch time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 10,000 words to write before midnight. BRB.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.