Deadly deadlines – the ultimate spur.

I have recently been going through some writing doldrums, which is nothing new for me.  I had a few works in progress that I was occasionally dabbling with but to no great advancement. It was only when I checked out a particular closing date this morning that I realised I had to get my act into gear and as a result have written nearly one thousand words in the last few hours. And they seem to make sense in the context of the piece I’m working on.

As far as I can recall, it was the same at school – and at work – anything I endeavoured to complete well in advance of any deadline was at best average and usually needed doing all over again. But with a closing date in view or looming deadline, my focus seemed to become that much sharper with a better result. Now I’m not suggesting that this is a tactic that I would always employ. On more occasions than I wish to remember, leaving things until the last minute did not produce the adrenalin-fuelled inspiration and a successful outcome.  Rather it was the panic-packed perspiration that resulted with an unsatisfactory result. So, how to get a balance? I suppose that if I were contracted to producing a regular article or column for a magazine, or if I was tied into a three-book deal with a publisher, each with the prospect of payment, the incentive would be changed dramatically. For my part, my deadlines relate only to submissions to various writing competitions. The more I enter, the more my chances of success. That’s the theory, at least. Although it could be argued that quantity over quality is not the best approach. Still, practice makes perfect.

No more dallying here. Another deadline for submission draws near. Must get on.

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