Writing is a sport with no rules, so the majority of the time you’re on your own. You can do whatever the heck you want and that’s just fantastic!
Well, it’s fantastic until you’re not getting anything done. . .
Sometimes we need to put a little pressure on ourselves to finish things. The same is true of getting writing done. You may need to a set up a deadline to keep yourself moving along.
1. Pro Deadlines
Knowing a day to finish by is a great motivation for a writer that doesn’t put the right amount of time in.
Sure, you’re going to say, “Well, I don’t have to finish by then if I can’t. Nothing will happen if I don’t.” Yeah, that’s true. ‘Nothing will happen’ except you wont get your writing finished.
Two of the best ways to keep to your personal deadline are to: 1. Write it down everywhere and 2. Tell everyone.
Firstly, writing down the date everywhere will drive you mad (in a good way). Make sure the day is a plausible amount of time to finish whatever you’re doing, and then go from there. Write in every calendar you own: Phone, work, wall calendar. Even set reminders on your phone if you want.
Oh, and if you want to really drive yourself insane, you can even put reminds of the date around your house. They’ll begin to haunt you, but you’ll be guilty if you don’t uphold to the deal.
Another reason you’ll feel guilty is because of pressure from your friends and family. Tell everyone that matters to you, about your deadline. Tell your family about it (if they haven’t already seen the sticky notes all over your house) and they’ll definitely keep you on track. Then, when you fail to meet the deadline, you’re disappointing them as well as yourself.
2. Negatives of Deadlines
Not everyone can deal with the deadline game. Schedules change a lot and sometimes you just don’t have time to write. If you don’t have time to write then you won’t reach your deadline.
Yes, I would usually tell you to just find a way to get working anyway, but maybe you have a very legit reason.
That doesn’t matter, though, because there are some negatives to having personal deadlines. For one, deadlines can trap you.
No, you’re not actually going to be stuck in a box or something 😉
I mean that deadlines can keep you from your potential. You may be in such a rush to finish, that your work becomes shabby. If you weren’t on a clock, you could probably have taken a little extra time to do better.
Also, a deadline can just tick you off. I’m a stubborn human being, so the more I’m told I have to do something, the less I want to do it. Simply the idea of something being ‘required’ makes me want to punch a wall. Even if it’s my own deadline, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it.
Plus, deadlines can just be useless. We have all the time in the world so we don’t need to rush through it.
That said, which do you prefer? Are you more strict about getting work done, or do you prefer living life while you can? There’s no wrong answer.