Hannah Douglas– freelance writer/journalist, CCC volunteer for The Great Novel Contest— wrote this guest post on defeating deadlines, and the importance of the The Great Novel Contest 2015 deadline. Visit Hannah’s website for the original post: here.
Let me just be straight. I don’t like deadlines. What kind of person likes them, really?
When I’m on deadline, I’d much rather make a sandwich. And then do the dishes after eating said sandwich. And then clean the entire house because if the dishes are done, then everything else must be clean, right? Then maybe I’ll call a friend to see if they need their dishes done or their house cleaned. OK. Enough.
Deadlines can put a lot of pressure on the creative process, placing a time stamp on a thought, an idea for a book, can seem so wrong! I’m writing. Don’t rush me.
Regardless of my strong disdain for deadlines, they exist to help move us forward. When it comes to The Great Novel Contest, maybe the deadline is in your favor! Deadlines could just be that inspiration you need to achieve your goals. You can finally polish off that manuscript and turn in a completed work that you love.
Sometimes I’ll make my own self-imposed deadlines, and include a twisted rewards system to go along with it, just to make sure I finish a project. I’ll think of an angle for this story by 5p.m. No more coffee until I get this paragraph right. I can have these emails sent by tonight. Those 500 words will be done by Friday, and then I’ll have a big fancy dinner at a big fancy restaurant. And so on. You can judge me, but that’s my own process. You have your own.
I had to make a deadline for myself in order to finish writing this blog post. If not for that fake deadline, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.
It’s also really great when you turn your work in early! Beating the deadline can be a tremendous feeling. And The Great Novel Contest is no exception!
When I really wanted to get something done, I’ve also asked friends or editors to create deadlines for me, so that I can complete the work they’re wanting in time. I hated doing it, and I felt a little weird, but in the end, the story ran on time, and we all lived happily ever after!
But remember, deadlines are only effective if you actually meet them.
Whether you’re imposing your own fake deadlines or asking your friends to give you fake deadlines, let me assure you, the deadline of January 31, 2015 for The Great Novel Contest is very real. So real it’s almost here. So, what are you waiting for? It feels really good when you meet your deadlines! And receiving prizes for the contest feels really good too- just in case you need more of an incentive to make the deadline.