“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” ~ Douglas Adams
As writers, we all know what it is to write under a deadline. Whether the deadline is something we’ve established for ourselves, or part of our daily writing goal, or something that stems from our “day job,” we all have to accomplish certain things during a specific time frame.
Like crossings things off your “to do” list, deadlines can give motivation and a sense of satisfaction when you’ve met them. A deadline can serve as a goal post on your way to your destination. It’s a good thing.
Except when it’s not.
My father likes to use the phrase “beyond Plan B” to describe what happens when real life steps in and things don’t go according to plan. Or according to the back up plan, for that matter.
What happens when you miss a deadline? (Writes the woman completing her #MondayBlogs post on Tuesday. Haha.)
The psychological consequences of missing a deadline can be worse than the actual consequences: feelings of failure, defeat, even a situational depression.
What should you do?
First of all, figure out WHY you missed the deadline. Sometimes, life steps in and rearranges what we thought would be happening at a certain point in time. We do have to be flexible in life – it’s necessary to survival.
Second, what’s the cost? How will missing this deadline affect you, your work, and your life in the grander scheme of things? I’m not suggesting for a minute that you should take a cavalier approach, just that a bit of understanding and forgiveness towards yourself can go a long way towards keeping you on track.
Third, even post-deadline: complete your task, whatever it may be.
You missed the time frame you (or someone else) had allotted for your work to be done: DO IT ANYWAY.
Writing requires a great deal of discipline, yes, but living also requires life.
Life happens, and sometimes the deadlines whoosh by with it.
Blessings to you all.