Was it Douglas Adams who said "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go whizzing by."
I guess that aspiring writers don't have that luxury. As pointed-out in the previous entry, competitions do not allow the option of a missed deadline. Well, if they do, I certainly haven't found out. Not had the guts to test them.
My goal is to enter competitions. OK, my goal is to win one - or at least to get short-listed. I figure that it looks good on the bio. So most of my creative output has been directed towards competition entry.
The pattern usually goes like this:
1. Find out about a comp., and think "Hmmm, interesting. The deadline's months away. I'll prioritise other comps above it."
2. Two weeks before deadline: "Oooh, deadline's approaching ... better start thinking about it".
3. Ten days before deadline: "OMG. Panic time. The cupboard's bare. I have nothing to write. About anything in general and that topic in particular. I can't enter this competition. It's too hard/ not enough time/ I have nothing that fits."
4. Nine days to go. Stop dead in tracks: "Hey - what about......" Smiles. I think I've got something!
5. Next few days: Write like crazy. Waaay over the word limit. Tears hair. Maybe I wont...
6. Five days to go: Edit. Cut out lots of words/ scenes/ passages. Swap a few adjectives or metaphors for a single well chosen word.
7. Four days to go "This is crap. It stinks. How can I tell my beautifully developed story wtih only xxxx words?"
8. Three days to go. "Slash and burn. This character can go. Character y can take over role"
9. Two days to go. "This is my final edit. I swear, I won't tinker with anything, anything at all."
10. On the day: "Ok, I'll tweak this. Now, email and be damned! Press SEND. Try to forget about it.
11. Following day: Hey - here's another comp. When's the deadline again?