August 03, 2015

Are You Deadline-Driven? by Steph Beth Nickel

"Would you like to write a guest post for my blog?"

What a honour! If we've hit a slump in our writing, there's nothing like being asked to write for someone else. That happened to me tonight, and in researching the possibility, I visited this site and realized today's the third. And I post on the third.

Photo Credit:

They say writers are deadline-driven. (And talk about an impending deadline. It will be August 4 in just over two hoursEastern Time, that is.)

Lord willing, I will be traveling to the UK in less than a month. Therefore, I had to impose some rigid deadlines if I was going to get ahead of my responsibilities before setting off across the Pond.

I wrapped up one project on Friday and another today. I hope to have Phase 1 of a third completed by the end of the week. 

And on another front . . . My hubby and I are redecorating and decluttering room-by-room. We have the front room pretty much the way we want it. Woohoo! 

We are working on the house with a different kind of deadline. We haven't set dates for ourselves. We are simply completing one room and then moving onto the next. We will not put anything back into a freshly painted room that we don't intend to keep. As we go, we'll toss out the garbage and donate smaller items we don't want to tuck away for a yard sale. And before we know it, we will have achieved a lot.

And so it goes. Step-by-step. Deadline-by-deadline. We'll get there.

How about you? Do impending deadlines provide the motivation you need or do they stress you out? Perhaps it's a combination of the two.

Photo Credit:

If you find deadlines helpful, here are some tips to apply them to your writing—and other areas of life:

1. Choose a major project.

2. Break it down into "bite-sized" chunks.

3. Give yourself a deadline to complete the first goal on the list.

4. If you achieve your goal in the allotted timeframe, do a little happy dance.

5. If you don't achieve your goal, don't beat yourself up. It happens to all of us, and unless you're nothing like me, guilt is more likely to immobilize than motivate.

6. Consdier why you didn't achieve your goal. As the saying goes, "Life happens." We're all familiar with unexpected eventualities. Just be honest with yourself. There is a difference between an excuse and a legitimate reason.

7. Either way, set a new deadline and get down to work.

What keeps you motivated? What deadlines have you given yourself recently? How do you get out of a slump?


  1. I function best with deadlines. Thank you for the informative tips.

    1. You are most welcome . . . even though I almost missed the deadline for posting. :)

  2. Thank you for the tips. I work best with deadlines.

  3. Too funny, Steph! Must have been a God-wink that you checked out your post tonight! I'm usually a do-it-ahead kinda gal, but if a deadline is looming, prayer is my first action!

    1. Working ahead . . . I love working ahead, but I usually do so only when there's a looming deadline. ;)

  4. I'm a dead-line driven ex-reporter who now has an extremely hard time getting any writing done without that end of the day/week deadline crunch. Thanks for the tips.

  5. Yes, you do work well with deadlines! Thanks for giving us these tips!

  6. Seven excellent points. In the past I've tended to beat myself up over not meeting deadlines. Now, I'm a little bit older and a little bit wiser and I feel like life is too short to be wallowing in sackcloth and ashes.

  7. I'm happy and thankful that you made your deadline, because you have given some excellent advice on working to deadline, even if every deadline is a mere bite-sized chunk.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.