On the Importance of Deadlines

There have been quite a few new faces visiting the blog recently, so welcome!  I’m glad that you’ve found my sporadic and slightly uneducated advice helpful.

Whether this is your first visit or your fifth, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting, uh, infrequently let’s say.  But I promise I have a great excuse!

I am almost halfway through my senior spring at this point, so I have been busy finishing my thesis and interviewing for post-graduation jobs.

it's always sunny jobs gif

I’m trying not to feel too guilty about not keeping up with this blog, because

a) this is my last chance to enjoy being an undergrad, and

b) this blog isn’t going anywhere.  I anticipate I’ll have more time to write to you all, and indeed, share my thoughts on the transition from writing in college to writing on top of a full-time job-having “adult” soon enough!

But in the meantime, I wanted to share with you what has probably been my most important realization so far as I’ve worked on my creative writing thesis:

Deadlines are terrifying and awesome.

I have finally gotten to this point where I’m writing regularly (i.e. almost daily), and it’s not because of my internal fortitude or love for putting words on the page day in and day out.  To be honest, I don’t always like that part of writing.  It kind of sucks.

No, I’m writing regularly because I have to.  Because I need to show something to someone in a week.

Part of this has been figuring out my own writing process.  I’ve written eight short stories for this collection now, so I know about how much time it takes me to complete a draft, and how much more to edit that mess.

Short story revision: the arts & crafts method.

Short story revision: the arts & crafts method.

The thing about this process is that it’s long.  There are a lot of steps.  That means if I procrastinate on one step, it’s going to throw off the whole process.  And here’s the thing: it’s a lot harder to force yourself to keep moving through this process if you don’t have a hard deadline.

Over the next few months, I’ll be thinking a lot about how to hold myself accountable when I’m not producing work for a grade.  As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!  I think having a community of other writers to chat (and commiserate) with is something that can hold us accountable and motivate us to keep doing our own things.

Now go write something.  Jeez.


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