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Deadline: Creativity Blocker or Enhancer?


“Deadline: Creativity Blocker or Enhancer?” by Joan Y. Edwards

I am excited that you are here. Thanks for stopping by. Does a deadline block your creativity or does it enhance it and spur you on to more submissions?

Many critique groups have deadlines for turning in the critiques either online or in person. I believe this is a good practice. When you have a publisher, the editor will send you things for revision in your manuscript, they might give you a one or two week deadline. If you don’t make the deadline, they may have the option of reneging on your contract. One of my Western Carolina University professors gave us this speech at the beginning of an elementary education course:

“Turn in your assignments on time. Don’t tell me an excuse. Points will be deducted for not turning it in on time. Good excuse or not.”

I admit I turned in an assignment late. I did as he told us. I didn’t tell him my excuse. I knew it didn’t count. I so wanted to tell him my excuse to make me feel better. My excuse kept drumming through my head. I stopped the reruns of my excuse after the course was over.

In life there are times when you are late. Being late as a habit is a choice. You can choose to make sure you complete tasks on time. You want being late to be a rare occurrence.

Make up a few good witty excuses. I could only think of one. It’s neither good nor witty. But here it is. The dog ate my homework might work. This excuse doesn’t work if you did your homework on the computer.  A dog can’t get inside your computer. However, a dead mouse could keep you from retrieving your homework for printing. A dog could gnaw on your portable hard drive.

Below please help me by writing a good witty excuse for not submitting your work on time or for not meeting another type of deadline on time. Tell us the kind of deadline and the excuse.

Sometimes when a deadline approaches the adrenaline comes to the surface and you get really good ideas. It inspires your muse to send more ideas. I need more ideas. Quick Quick Quick…write them down while the Muse is hot.

Sometimes when you wait for a deadline to pass before working, the Muse can’t be bothered and has closed her/his doors and won’t service this project at all.

Every person has their own creative zones of time. Some need a deadline. Some don’t work with deadlines. They need to feel free. Honor your way of creating.

If you need a deadline:  Submit your work before 12:00 midnight on the third Friday of next month. If you don’t need a deadline, submit your work soon. Follow my steps for PubSub3rdFri – Week 1, 2, 3, and 4. Do each thing one step at a time. When you’re finished, submit your work. Whether it be this month, next month, or the month after. Believe in yourself and submit your work.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Never Give Up!
Joan Y. Edwards

http://www.joanyedwardswordpress.com

Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Joan,

    Good topic! Most of the time, I’m pretty neutral about deadlines, if they’re not crowding in on me. I prefer to get started on an assignment right away. A deadline hanging over me near the last minute would be a creativitiy blocker, a stressor, and a high blood-pressure trigger. I don’t need that!

    Deadlines can be a creativity enhancer. For example, if I can write a poem before April 25th, I get a free critique as part of the poetry retreat. If not, I miss out.

    An excuse: I accidently hit delete instead of send.

    Linda A.

    Like

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for telling us your opinion about deadlines. I know for a fact that you do get started on your projects in the work-for-hire and magazines as soon as you get them. That’s a great idea. I love your witty excuse. Thanks for sharing it.

      Do something good for you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  2. I require deadlines. It’s the main reason I joined a critique group–keep me accountable to someone else and I am more responsible. I think I work better under pressure, but I prefer to finish early, have time to reflect on the work and revise if necessary. I’m getting better as I grow older. Just in case, I have a ready excuse:

    “Sorry my work is late. I couldn’t make bail.”

    Like

    • Dear Leslie,
      It’s good that deadlines work for you. I like that having deadlines like for a critique group keep you focused and accountable. I love your witty excuse. You made me laugh. Thanks for sharing.

      Do something good for you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

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