I think it was Douglas Adams who said that he rather liked deadlines. They make a nice whooshing noise as they rush by, uncaught.
I quite like them too, but for a different reason. They give me something to aim for, something to aspire to (at least they do now, when I’m not penalised for missing them!). When I wrote essays for university, deadlines had a wonderful way of focusing the mind.
Now, deadlines are more flexible. Sort of. At the moment, my deadline is the end of the month. So I have targets for each week. And they really are more flexible. I envisage a mad panic in the last week of this month, when I realise that I’m still some way off the word count and I must finish my work. When I will decide that my much-beloved sleep must be forgone in order to complete it. We will have separation issues, my bed and I, that week.
But deadlines are useful. Without them, probably little would be completed. Creativity is not that rigid. It takes discipline, persistence and mental fortitude. And becomes even trickier when Life must go on around you, distracting you from your creative work.
I am currently several thousand words behind schedule. I have missed a few blog-posts this week. I hope to catch up by next weekend. With any luck, since now that Christmas is within sight, my place of work (a card shop) has become much busier, and my presence there in greater demand. It might be this week in which I forgo my sleep…