Saturday, December 10, 2011


I've been thinking about deadlines, because Timmi Duchamp gave me a one weekend deadline for a brief essay for the Aqueduct blog. I made it.

I don't like deadlines. For the most part, I write what I want at the speed I want and don't try selling fiction before it's done. When I have had deadlines for fiction, I have usually not made them.

The writing group I'm in -- the Wyrdsmiths -- has a majority of writers who do work to deadline; and I am rethinking my attitude. Sometimes I have genuine creative reasons for writing slowly and taking time off. I need to mull ideas or figure out how to reorganize a story, because it's not heading in a direction I like. But I also suffer from perfectionism and procrastination. I will avoid writing and stall on completing stories for fear the work is not any good.

I'm not as young as I once was. As Andrew Marvell wrote, "...At my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near: and younder all before us lie deserts of vast eternity." That being so, I'd like to write more rapidly, and this leads me to consider the merits of deadlines.

Since I am writing short stories these days, I am not going to have many deadline set by editors, unless I move into the theme anthology market. But I can set my own deadlines and be serious about meeting them. Or I can simply get serious about writing every day, making production...


Blogger tate hallaway said...

Self-deadlines can be hard to keep. When I've tried them in the past, I have twice the excuses for not making them, a sense that none of it REALLY matters (since I made them up myself), yet a lot of hovering guilt when I don't make them.

But, you're probably more self-discplined than I am. I can be very discplined as a writer, but I really need to be beholden to someone ELSE.

8:55 AM  

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