Friday, October 29, 2010

That's when I do my best work

When I started writing professionally in 1993, I had to contend with deadlines. Admittedly, I was young, and pretty lousy at meeting them. Or maybe I just enjoyed procrastinating. Either way, when I emerged out of journalism and into commercial copy writing, I got much better at staying on-task.

Clients were, understandably, reluctant to pay promptly for late work. So in all my years of copy writing, I was never late, but boy did I like to wait until the last minute!

Or, if a client had tried another writer unsuccessfully, and thus had a much shorter time frame to work with, I'd snap up those opportunities and not bother renegotiating the deadline.

It didn't take long for me to realize that I work well under pressure. In fact, when the heat is on, I do my best work.

So maybe all that time spent waiting until the last minute wasn't really procrastination... I was just letting my thoughts marinate in creative juices.

Whatever works, right?

Today I am faced with a familiar situation: I have a self-imposed deadline of This Weekend for putting the finishing touches and art notes on my picture book manuscript. Additionally, I've been informed that there is a meeting scheduled early next month regarding the children's non-profit project I'm writing.

Time will tell how this all plays out, whether or not I'll finish in time, and if it will indeed by quality work. Talk about suspense! I'd cross my fingers, but it's very hard to type like that.

How do you deal with deadlines? How do you keep yourself on-task? Or do you procrastinate... err... I mean, do you let your ideas marinate for extended periods of time before committing them to paper?


  1. At work, I get my tasks completed immediately, but with writing, I'm a bit of a procrastinator. I'm using your excuse from now on.

  2. Please do. Well, ya know, maybe later... when you get around to it.