Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Self-imposed deadlines

I might still make it. It's starting to look impossible... but I might still make it.

How many of you create deadlines for yourselves? My personal deadline for finishing revisions on Mysterious Other Novel is getting super close and I'm worried I might not make it. But I have to make it! But it's just a self-imposed deadline, so does it really matter? Yes!

Once the deadline passes unmet, I find my output slows considerably. I already missed the deadline. Why push myself? Secondary self-imposed deadlines aren't as pressing.

I searched for pictures of zombies in a kick line, because that's what I think of when I read the word "deadline". But, there aren't very many artful photos of zombies in kick lines. 

What about you? Do you set deadlines for yourself? Do you generally meet them? When you don't, do you think it's due to procrastination or unrealistic expectations?


  1. I do set deadlines for myself frequently. BUT when I set them, I make sure to take into account that life happens, and build in a smidgen of cushion.

    Then I set daily goals to meet that will have me blowing my deadlines out of the water.

    Honestly, the only deadline I haven't met so far was with a project I decided wasn't working. So it doesn't really count. ;) When I set goals like that for myself, I try to view them as non-negotiable. If I don't finish it by that day, the world really WILL end. lol

    I work better under pressure though, so I know not everybody would respond well to that kind of mindset. :)

  2. I set deadlines for myself--though I don't have a particularly good track record of meeting them. I really hope to meet the one I set for my current WIP, of finishing it by November for NaNoWriMo.

    I think it's a mix of both, when I don't meet deadlines. I usually have other things going on and sometimes there's not enough time to really sit down and write at the computer; other times it's just because I couldn't get up enough enthusiasm for the project, so I procrastinated.

  3. Lately I haven't been meeting them. With my first novel, I definitely did. But, in the last year we've moved to two different states, I've dabbled in homeschooling my kids, and been in two weddings. So, this novel I'm working on now, has passed a few self-proposed deadlines. :) I'm giving myself an out-card though cause life has been so crazy. And at this time, I'm just trying really hard to get the rough draft done as soon as possible. No deadlines. :)

  4. P.S. How do I follow you on here? I can't seem to find that option. Thanks. :)

  5. Holly - I wish I was that disciplined! I think my original deadline might have been too ambitious, but once it passes I won't have nearly as much free time for revising. :/ Pressure sometimes has a stifling effect on me.

    Eagle - There's never enough time, is there? Then, once there is enough time, my brain stops up.

    Rachel - Welcome to the blog! Yeah, it's the work/life stuff that's getting in the way of my productivity. There should be a "Join this site" button right above where my followers are listed. However, sometimes blogger gets buggy and it disappears. If you're using the blogger platform, you should also have a toolbar at the top of your internet window that lists "'follow" as an option. Just hit that and it will set you up.

  6. I set very lenient deadlines, which is probably why I never meet them. I think I need follow Holly's daily deadline idea. Okay, now I'm excited to set some. Thanks!

  7. I try to set deadlines for myself and usually meet them when I'm drafting (working with an outline, I can do about 3000 words a day before I start to get frazzled), but with editing I'm not so good at it. I've already shot past my deadline to have this latest thing finished with the spit-polish edit by a week because the ending was rougher than I first thought. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.

  8. I'm always over ambitious with my deadlines, and they end up whizzing by. Sigh. I need to get better at this.