Friday, January 31, 2014

Do You Dread a Deadline?

I had a deadline on a writing project this week. I often work under self-imposed deadlines, but this one was imposed by the editor of an international magazine and it felt very different from my usual self-imposed deadlines.

The difference is, mine are always negotiable and highly flexible. Because I'm a free-lance writer, I have the luxury of setting my own priorities. My self-imposed deadlines are always subject to my family's needs. With such a large family as I have, this happens often, and that really works for me. I love the flexibility and freedom free-lancing allows me to have.

I have worked under outside deadlines before, don't get me wrong, but they really are few and far between. I like being in control of my own schedule. But, this week was different. The editor in charge of this project said on Monday he wanted the finished product by Friday....of this same week. He was on a deadline to be sure.

At first, it felt good.

Then it felt intimidating.

Then it felt restrictive.

Then it felt motivating.

Then it felt exhilarating.

Then I got the project finished a day early!

I learned that working with a deadline imposed by someone else isn't as restrictive as I thought it would be. I learned that I really do have it in me to work on someone else's schedule. I learned that I hope I get to work under such a deadline in the future.

Since I intend to remain in free-lance work, working with external deadlines will likely remain a rare option for me. When those deadlines do come, I'll embrace them as I did this one, and likely finish early again!

Happy Writing!

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