No Pressure! Do You Need A Deadline?

by Catherine L. Tully

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

Some writers work better under pressure. At least – they think they do.

I used to be one of those writers. But now, I do something a little bit differently. I set my own deadlines.

This is a monumentally different approach. You see, I’m still putting pressure on myself, but I am also able to control the workflow much better. Instead of working all night long to meet a client’s deadline, I can schedule myself a few rough draft deadlines first. And I don’t miss them.

I take my deadlines every bit as seriously as if I were the client. Otherwise the approach simply doesn’t work. The pressure must be real, but the deadline can be your own. If you are one of those writers that finds themselves working like mad at the last minute to get something in on time–I challenge you to try my suggestion.

It’s simple, but it works!

Here are three ways to incorporate this type of deadline system into your work week:

  • Put it on your calendar/to-do list. If it’s actually in print (or online), it is far more real than when it’s in your head.
  • Start with one project. Don’t try to do this with everything at once. Try one project first and see how you do, then add more.
  • Reward yourself! When you meet your deadline, do something nice for yourself. Take a bike ride. Buy a latte, or an ice cream cone. After all, it feels pretty darn good!

Do you create your own deadlines? How do you make it work?