I need a deadline.
In high school and college I thrived on deadlines. 10 page research paper I haven’t started due in two weeks? I couldn’t even read the instructions without getting distracted. 10 page research paper I haven’t even started due tomorrow morning? I AM SO ON IT! I am at my best at the last minute.
Another way of putting it: I am a MASTER PROCRASTINATOR! If there is a tomorrow to do it, I will put it off until that tomorrow comes.
This has presented a problem when it comes to my writing. I have the desire to write, I WANT to write, I have the ideas, the story, the characters screaming at me to write down their story so they can stop re-living the same scene over-and-over again. But when it comes down to write or watch ONCE UPON A TIME (again)? Write or bake cookies? Write or SLEEP?! The “or <Insert procrastination here>” has begun to win more and more as the holidays kick into gear and I find myself more and more exhausted each evening.
The solution seems so simple: Just give yourself a deadline! Yeah… not so much. My brain doesn’t seem to respond to my “pretend deadlines”, even when I call them “goals.”
So my wonderful husband has come up with a new solution. A real deadline. A “if you want to go to BEA you need to have a full first draft finished” deadline. And I WANT to go to BEA this year! And I know what you’re thinking, BEA isn’t until next June… so have fun procrastinating until May! But NO! Registration for BEA opens this month. And soon after that I have to let people know if I’m in or not for room arrangements, etc.
So now I have a deadline. My fully finished first draft is due (to my husband) on February 15, 2012. And while I may spend the next few weeks bogged down in all of the Christmas craziness (side note: how? How? HOW?! Are we 19 days from CHRISTMAS!?) you better believe that as my deadline nears I’m going to disappear completely, for hours/days on end, and I will be SO. ON. IT.
How do you guys push yourselves to get your writing done? What about those days/weeks where work/children/life is brain-meltingly crazy? Are you ready for the holidays? What are some of the gifts on your wishlist?