The concept of a ‘deadline’ comes from early 20th century American newspaper jargon, which was in itself inspired by a famous story from the American Civil War (http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/01/origin-deadline/) in which detainees within a prison stockade could not cross a line for fear of being shot. They would die if they passed that point.
So many of us think of a deadline as being the due date of something, the point of no return, often the end of an assignment or project. I think of it as the time at which I DO die a little.
Well, that’s a melodramatic way of putting it, but I usually leave things until the last minute. It’s a habit I’ve weakened, but never truly shaken. I lack significant motivation until the point at which I know I can JUST finish whatever I need to, without sacrificing too much quality.
A good example of this is when I finished my recent writing project as a part of NYC Midnight’s short story competition [insert link too]. This is a fantastic opportunity that I’m very glad to have, and I look forward to posting that story on here soon.
The thing is, though, I had one week to write 2500 words. That would have been very easy for someone like me, who is capable of writing a fantastic number of words in a very short time period. I was still able to submit my story with around three hours to spare, but I only started it the night before, and wrote the majority of it on the day that it was due.
It has been some time since I submitted to a short story competition, so maybe I could say that I’m unused to deadlines, but that’s just me starting to make excuses. Deadlines are just not something that I pay heed to until they close in on me. When I actually do something, it takes a colossal effort within a small period of time, hence me feeling a little dead afterwards.
A dead line doesn’t always need to be so scary, though. In fact, for someone as lazy as me, I still regard them as a good motivation. The biggest issue with deadlines is when we set them for ourselves.
So I have continuously set myself deadline after deadline in which to write my blog, or write a story, or do this or that. I want you to all know that I honestly have hit a block recently, which has made inspiration somewhat-hard to come by. The reasons for this are many and varied, but I will always continue to push on.
That being said, I make a new commitment to publish another short story on this website by the end of this coming weekend!
Furthermore… I won’t stop pushing for my deadlines until I’m dead.