Call me crazy, but I kind of like deadlines. They keep me focused and make sure that I get the work done. I’ve written some of my absolute best work when I’ve had an approaching deadline. It ensures that I stay on track and don’t stray too much. Basically, words get written with deadlines.
There is a itsy-bitsy ‘but’ to all this. I’ve yet again set myself a deadline that cannot be rescheduled.
The scared-stiff writer upon realising a deadline is approaching.
Last year, our student theatre produced a 45-minute series of horror stories for Halloween. The rehearsals took only two weeks and the whole thing came together really fast. In this way, people who can’t commit to longer projects still have a chance to get on stage. So this year, we want to do another Halloween special. We’re even participating in a larger Halloween event, so it will be absolutely awesome. Here’s the thing though:
We start rehearsals in two weeks, and we have two 10-minute stories to write.
Talk about a writer’s horror story, right? Luckily, I’m working with another writer/director, who will write one story, while I write the other. The third one will be improvised with the cast. But right now, I have no idea what I’m doing. We made a basic outline of all three stories together, but the actual writing and the making-scary of one story is up to me now.
I have two weeks to write a horror story. I have very little knowledge on writing horror! Last year I wrote something scary because I had a scary nightmare and turned that into a play. I guess I just have to go with what makes me scared. I’m going to make it work.
But two weeks to write and rewrite and make sure it’s up to my standards… Quick projects like these maintain my agility in writing, but I hope I don’t lower my standards just because I have to create something in two weeks.
This is typical as well: Me panicking about the deadline and not doing anything, until it’s the absolute last moment. Then it works. It always does. I have to trust that.
What do you think about deadlines? Do you work better or worse when you have to deliver? What’s the worst deadline you’ve ever tackled? Share your story in the comments!
Just rambling and writer anxiousness tonight, so all the more love,