Last night, my awesome brother called me with an assignment to write a press release for his company. This is something I do every few weeks for him. Now, my brother is one of those people who has so many balls flying in the air that I have no idea how he manages to do everything and still find time for little things like breathing and sleeping. So he tends to call me at the last minute. And by last minute, I mean REALLY last minute. He once called me to write up a bio on him for an article that he needed within the hour. Gotta love him.
Well, last night he had two releases for me to do...one I had previously done that needed some tweaking so it could be released by the end of the day (which gave me 2 hours) and another that he needed for this morning. I just laughed, wrote down the info I needed, and got to work.
But that is me. I do well with deadlines. Which is not the same as doing well under pressure, by the way. I don't do real well with pressure. You put me on the spot and ask me some totally easy question and my mind will go blank. I haven't figured out why I do this yet. However, tell me you need love my manuscript but want the entire thing edited by the next day, and I'm your girl.
Which works well with the fact that I tend to procrastinate. Put it off until the last minute and then bust your tail getting it done. I'm not sure why I work well with a deadline. I think it's because it forces me to focus. I just don't have a choice. Someone somewhere is waiting for whatever it is I'm working on. My brother is waiting for his press release. My professor is waiting for my paper. My agent is waiting for my revisions. My kids are waiting for dinner ;-D So putting it off again is not an option.
This is one of the reasons I try to give myself deadlines. 1000 words a day. A chapter a week. Writing every morning from 8-11. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. Because I know it's my own deadline and nothing devastating is going to happen if I don't stick to it. But I do try, and it does help.
So, how do you work? Do deadlines loom over your head, overshadowing and crushing the life out of your creativity? Or do they spark some rush of adrenaline, forcing the words to flow from your fingers? Do you give yourself deadlines?