Today I'm going to write something about writing. I feel as if I haven't done this in a while, although it's only been a little over a week.
I always aim for non-specifics here because you can find jillions of places on the web with rules and guidelines and other how-to information. And many of them are written by writers with a lot more street cred than I have.
So mostly I talk about things I do, how I do them, what works for me. My goal isn't to see to it that you follow along doing what I do or writing how I write. I share these things so you'll have a jumping off point if something isn't working for you. For you to take from me and develop what works for you.
So with that said, let's chat about real deadlines and self-imposed ones.
For me there's one difference, which I'll talk about later in this post.
I do not enjoy butting against a wall at the last minute. For any reason. So for as far back as I can remember I've always done things ahead of time in case any problems developed. So if something was due on Friday, I'd have it done by Wednesday. That kind of thing.
Real deadlines have never been a problem.
Self-imposed ones aren't either. I need them for myself to stay on track. Left all day with nothing that must be done - which means nothing without a deadline - I'll find 20,000 things that keep me from writing. So I make my own deadlines.
Now I'll get to the difference.
Real Deadlines - Nothing gets in the way. Whether it's writing or something else. It gets done. Everything else gets pushed behind The Project. Sometimes even sleep.
Self-Imposed Deadlines - I'm a little more flexible because I'm dealing only with myself. Sometimes Life gets in the way. I let it. I give myself permission to skip a day writing here and there. I spend evenings with my live-in handyman. When a neighbor visits I sit and chat. I play with Arf and Woof. I get as much done as I can toward my goal. The big thing is I don't ignore my goal or the deadline for accomplishing it. But I don't beat myself up over not writing on Thursday or only meeting half my goal on Monday.
Overall, I guess I stay focused. During a real deadline situation, my focus is very narrow. I'm 200% on that deadline. When that deadline is self-imposed, my focus broadens. I'm at about 80%.
For me that's what works.
Without a deadline, I'm toast.