Writerly Post Wednesday: Self-Appointed Deadlines

Anyone else do this?!

I love, love writing — obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t do it, but sometimes I lack the motivation to actually write. And I’m sure that I’m not alone here, as well. Whether it’s stress going on in my life, or laziness and procrastination, or even writer’s block, I’ve found that giving myself deadlines helps to motivate me to write.

All published authors have deadlines. So first off, I thought I would highlight the best/funniest quotes about them.


“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
― Douglas Adams

“Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.”
― Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

“A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.”
― Rita Mae Brown

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.”
― Diana Scharf

“I am a person who works well under pressure. In fact, I work so well under pressure that at times, I will procrastinate in order to create this pressure.”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

“A deadline is a finish line. Don’t stop ’til the door shuts in your face!”
― Raven Moore

“…a deadline should not prevent you from writing, but writing will help prevent you from missing your deadline. Then write a word. Then remind yourself of that again. And then write another and hey, look at you! You’re spitting in that deadline’s eye.”
― Courtney Summers

“Life without deadlines is bliss.” 
― Chris Decker

day animated GIF

So there you go. There are some various (and some humours!) opinions on deadlines and writing. It’s a bit different for me: I’m not a published author, so there are no real ramifications to me not meeting my own self-imposed deadlines, but sometimes, I’ll admit, I need a push. Sometimes I even need a shove, just to get me going. That’s why I impose deadlines: to get myself started. Once I’ve started I’m totally okay . . . It’s just getting to that point which can sometimes be a little bit difficult.

This is why I love Camp NaNoWriMo so very much! Because it forces me to write. I am a very competitive person when it comes to writing and all things related; I feel like I have to be the best. (Which is another matter all together, really . . . ) Another benefit of Camp NaNoWriMo (and even NaNoWriMo proper) is that you’re not alone. There are many many many people who are aiming to achieve the same goal as you are, and it’s much easier to write a novel if interact with other writers along the way.

Writing every word I see

So what about you? Do you impose self-appointed deadlines? Or just write whenever the words flow? I’d love to know!


8 thoughts on “Writerly Post Wednesday: Self-Appointed Deadlines

  1. Yes, I do this :) I like Camp NaNo and normal NaNo deadlines because so many other people follow them. I also do monthly writing/reading goals. Yesterday I didn’t write ANYTHING for Camp NaNo and felt really bad, but I reminded myself that I was ahead of target anyway…I guess not being too hard on yourself for self-imposed deadlines is important as well.

  2. I absolutely need to impose deadlines on myself, or I’ll never get any writing done. I’m trying really hard to make writing a habit by writing everyday for Camp NaNoWriMo, participating in the Go Teen Writers Word Wars and writing a journal entry about my day at the end of each night. So far, I’m doing really well with writing everyday. Even if it’s past my bedtime or I’m lacking inspiration, I force myself to write every single day. I can so relate to that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee quote. I do that all the time!

    • Ooh, that’s a good point — sometimes forcing yourself can actually be beneficial. I mean, there’s definitely a breaking point where you SHOULDN’T push yourself, but I think that some writers (including me!) need a little push to get writing. ;)

  3. I definitely need self imposed deadlines. When I first got serious about writing and wanting to be a published author one day, I thought I would hate dealines and that they would make me not want to write like, your not the boss of me! But I learned pretty quickly that deadlines can be a good thing.
    I set deadlines for writing and revising both sometimes I give myself too much time or not enough but I’ve always managed to complete them so I guess that’s good!
    I’m definitely pushing myself with Camp NaNo this month(I just did a 50k week) but I’m really enjoying it and like you said it’s more fun and easier when there are a lot of people working towards the same goal.
    Okay end of super long comment. =)

  4. I also give myself deadlines because I think that otherwise it won’t get done. My one problem is right after I appoint the deadline, we go smoothly for about a month (my best is six months going six months) and then I get a huge idea and it completely messes with my plot. I thought what I needed was no deadlie. Now I realize that I really need deadlines to actually look and write the book. I have actually given myself a new deadline and I’m hoping I can complete this one because I’d really like to finish it before NaNoWriMo starts.

    • Good luck with your deadline, Alyssa! Yes, I think deadlines can either be good or bad — depending on both your story idea and your writing style. With me, I try to push through my “deadlines” no matter what happens, especially if it’s a first draft, because my first drafts are always pretty rough.

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