Do You Need A Deadline?

This months topic for the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour  is deadlines.

Deadlines send a shiver of dread up the spine of many folks.  Ack!  I must have this done by next month, next week, tomorrow!  They panic and freeze up, unable to do any work at all. On the other hand, some people thrive on deadlines and work to their best ability when they are held to a strict schedule.

Deadlines don’t bother me, but then, I’m retired and I don’t have any deadlines now.  I write for creative fulfillment so my writing has no deadlines either.  Now maybe this is good and maybe it is bad.  Would I be more productive if I knew I HAD  to have my book done in the next six months?  Hmmm.  What if I made myself a deadline and pretended that it was imperative that A Singular World was due by the end of December?  Could I?

Summer is coming with garden work galore.  Grandkids are visiting for two weeks.  Visiting my daughter in Texas for three weeks to help out with the new baby.  Going to fiddle camp.  Grandkids coming again.  Canning. Freezing. Other daughter coming for a visit for a week or so.

No, I think setting a book that I haven’t started yet with a due date of December is setting myself up for failure.  But, what about the end of January?  January is a very good month for me for writing.  No company. No outside work (except snow shoveling).  Yes, I think January is doable.

So, deadline here I come!


In most blog tours, a single author appears on a variety of blogs, moving around the Internet and allowing the readers of those blogs get to know the author. In the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, the authors stay on their blogs and it’s you, the reader, who takes the tour.

Each month, our participating authors from around the world agree to blog on a single topic throughout the month. By following the links in each month’s post, you’ll discover a whole bunch of new authors in a variety of genres, levels of experience, and styles of writing.




Filed under About writing

8 responses to “Do You Need A Deadline?

  1. Creating reasonable goals and deadlines seems to be the key. Still working on that myself. Best of luck in January!

  2. My wife and I have a saying: “Nothing happens without a plan, and no plan gets completed without a deadline.”

    Last year, I set the deadline for the publication of my first book at January 31, 2012. And I made it. [Yay!] But the magic happened after I set the deadline. Once I had a target date, I started working backward to figure out what steps had to be completed by when. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have realized that I needed to write my first draft at the rate of about 6,000 words a week in order to reach my goals.

    Sometimes, setting a deadline is just a good way of forcing yourself to get organized!

  3. Deadline are so good for me. The problem is, I have no way of setting them up for myself. I could get a friend or family member to nag me about, as if they were an impatient editor, but they won’t really do it. And I can’t just mentally trick myself. It’s the same trap of setting the clock fifteen minutes fast. I always mentally correct for the real time.

    • Hi Stephanie. For what it’s worth, people I’ve known who had the same problem solved it by “externalizing” their deadlines. They commit themselves in a real way to some external event that will happen in the future. For example, they make an appointment for an interview, commit to a speaking engagement at a conference, or whatever they can do that gives them an “or else.”

      Luckily, I tend to be good at meeting *internal* deadlines. The external approach is way too scary for me!

      There’s a saying that “work expands to fit the time available.” I’ve found the opposite to be true as well: “work contracts to fit the time available.” That’s one of the things that make deadlines so powerful with regard to improving productivity.

      • Sue

        I think setting external deadlines by making appointments would be way too scary for me, too. I would be thinking too much about it and not about the book. 😦

    • Sue

      Making a deadline real is hard for me too, Stephanie.

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