Deadline: “may refer to: time limit” (Wikipedia). Or, from Dictionary.com:
1) The time by which something must be finished or submitted; the latest time for finishing something.
2) A line or limit that must not be passed.
3) (Formerly) a boundary around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards [1864 Civil War prisons].
My most recent deadline was getting this blog post ready – today. Historically, I procrastinate and pull together information just making a deadline. Why? Does my adrenaline kick in and get me going when a deadline gets near? I’m not sure, but the pressure of a deadline does get my creative juices going.
At the latest PPW board meeting the importance of meeting deadlines was brought up. Being an employee for 20 years at a government agency, I was constantly gifted with “suspense” items (Aha! Another word for deadline). I never dreamed of not meeting these deadlines. However, I was provided one deadline/suspense that confused me. It concerned a matter that I was not responsible for. When I questioned the suspense I was advised, “We knew if we gave it to you, it would get done, and we thought you could get the information we needed quicker than if we gave the request to the person responsible.” Another reason I retired . . .
In preparing for this little blog, research revealed Deadline is also:
An American western film
A horror film
A war drama
A Swedish thriller
A fictional villain
A British Comics magazine
A British drama
An American TV series
A video game
A computer game
An on-line entertainment news magazine
An American rock band
An American punk band
And the title of several novels
If you have tips for meeting deadlines (using suspense/tickler files, keeping a detailed calendar, stacking your deadline items in order of their due dates, etc.), please share these with your fellow writers (Perhaps in an article for the PPW Newsletter?).
For writers, deadlines mean getting paid for their work by fulfilling contracted deadline requirements for their books or articles. It could mean losing that contract or missing the publication date for a periodical and your article not making it in. This is a writer‘s bread and butter. One either meets the deadline and gets paid and acquires a positive reputation, or the writer’s reputation becomes one of being hard to work with or unreliable. That means it will be harder for the writer to earn a living and eventually it will mean not being able to sell his/her work.
If you have trouble meeting deadlines, or try to avoid some you do have, I challenge you (I’ll leave it to others to threaten you) to set a deadline of OCTOBER 15 to finish any project you’ve left undone. Then let us know how you accomplished your goal. If you’re good at meeting deadlines, tell us how you do it.