douglas adams

The Power of the Deadline

As a writer, one thing I need to stay productive is a deadline. The common meaning of deadline is a measure of the latest time a given project can be completed. Another less known meaning of deadline is an imaginary line drawn around a prison beyond which prisoners are likely to be shot. As a writer I find both types of deadline the most inspirational cattle prods available to force my words out into the world. I like to set my timer and draw a line around my computer. I ask my wife to shoot me if I venture past the line but apparently we don’t own a gun. Instead she shoots me with her evil eye, and I sit my ass back down and get back to work.

At first I was very good about posting things without a deadline, but now that summer vacation has begun I have lost all motivation to keep up with life. Not just writing, but all aspects of daily living. I can barely get out of bed in the morning to make coffee and use the bathroom, let alone sit at a keyboard and coordinate letters into the sequences necessary to impart meaning. I usually have to do some serious research just to figure out what day of the week it is. I have been quite busy writing, but I’m currently working on much longer pieces (a never-ending 90 page essay, a novel, my manifesto) that don’t really fit into this short form blog format. But I want to change this.

So in order to keep a consistent flow of words emanating from my keyboard I will be following this self imposed schedule of postings to keep myself moving forward. There may be additional posts if the muse slaps me with her lugubrious smooches of inspiration, but no guarantees. Please keep a look out for my posts, and feel free to shoot me should I wander past any of these deadlines.

  • Monday =====> some manner of fictional story
  • Wednesday ===>  rants and existential crises
  • Friday =======> DP weekly writing challenge  (or other writing exercise)
  • Sunday =======> DP weekly photo challenge (or other visual proof of the universe)

I love deadlines (by vapour trail on Flickr)