Deadlines. Whether you meet them or not, you have experience with them. Without deadlines, I doubt procrastination would be the pandemic it is. Would we even have a word for it? Procrastination, I mean.
One thing is both a positive and negative of the relative isolation in which I write: all of my deadlines have been self-imposed. I haven’t had anyone dependent on me to finish a story, a draft, much less within a specific timeframe. Until now.
Now I have the Miss You Write Soon project. (Yes, the link is working this time. So click!)
And you know what? The accountability is rather fantastic. Honestly.
No, you can’t revoke my Writer Card.
Kiri updates Mondays; I update Thursdays. Since we write in response to each other’s letters, I have to wait to see what she’ll post before I start. I am slow to compose, slow to write, and whatever else is going on, I owe it to her to have my post ready on time.
I’m still in the adjustment period. We’ve barely begun this project, and it will take me a few weeks before I can fully settle into the rhythm of it. So maybe me declaring deadline accountability “fantastic” is a little premature, but it’s new and novel to me. I have desperately needed the experience. With my serious procrastination habit, I need to know (for myself, if nothing else) that I am capable of meeting a deadline.
This does mean I can’t update as often here as I originally planned. Not if I have any hope of making headway on any other project. I still aim for at least one a week, but I’m currently overshooting that mark a fair bit. Eventually, it will even out. I’m really excited for what I’ll get done then.
With a deadline, I have more focus, more direction, and those things make me more productive. Creativity is a bit like a cat. If I impose too much structure, it takes off and won’t come out until I’ve proven I’m reasonable again. Too little, and there’s no telling what it will get up to, but I can guarantee that any true productivity will be an accident. It’s all about balance.
Bring it on.