I was stressed. My eyes felt dry, my fingers tired, my brain dead. I’d gotten a bad night’s sleep and I was too young to drink coffee and stay up all night working. Yup. The lovely deadline.

DeadlineRecently I was working on an entry for a writing competition which was due only a couple days ago. I was pretty good about writing at least a page a day on my typewriter and I had a little over a month to finish something that only had to be 8,000 max. Simple! The problem was that we were always busy. Unlike a laptop, you can’t simply pack up a typewriter and carry it around everywhere. They may be a sturdy hunk of machinery, but even a typewriter susceptible to the dangers of travel. I could have typed on my laptop. But being the stubborn writer I am, I opted to go for the typewriter.

Two Weeks Later…

I was stressing big time! I hadn’t finished the story all the way, I still needed to edit the story a million times over and edit it through my parents. What was I thinking waiting this long? To this, I decided to knuckle down and write. And you know what? I finished within the next two days. That’s right. TWO DAYS. Working under pressure may have stressed me out, but it also made me realize I needed to keep working. I edited the whole thing in another four days. One full edit per day. I sent it in about a week before I needed it done.

Working under pressure was hard. But it was also good because it motivated me. I wonder if part of the reason it takes so long for books to be written is because we, as writers, have a hard time pushing through – we need motivation. My motivation right now is just trying to produce some good work. I’m going to try to make an effort to sit down every day and type at least one page. It may be slow, but at least even when I don’t want to, I’ll get something done.

Chime Time: Share your thoughts on how deadlines help or hinder you!

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4 Responses to Deadlines

  1. Great job, honey. We’re very proud of you.

  2. I spend 40 hours a week as the evening news editor at the local paper, and it doesn’t matter how long reporters have to work on a feature story – they always wait until deadline is upon them to write the story. We have several scheduled features that are planned months in advance, but deadline has a way of motivating people.

    I also have a theory that it inspires people to do their best work. Looming deadlines definitely make us focus and put us in a hardworking mindset. I work best close to deadline – it keeps me on task and doesn’t give me wiggle room to get distracted.

    • trinitygrau says:

      Sometimes I think others get stressed and cannot think because of it, depending on the person. My father is actually the opposite where he works rather well, but gets tense.

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