I have a problem with deadlines. Case in point: today. I have an article due within the next few hours and I haven’t even finished this post for the Urchins. In fact, I’m just starting it.
Deadlines are a bit of a double-edged sword, I’ve found. I need a tangible “or-else” date, otherwise I could spend months agonizing over word choice and sentence structure. At the same time, I notoriously wait until the last possible moment to start and/or finish the damn thing… which results in not having time to agonize.
For most writers, there is that sudden “reality-check” shock when they discover that being a writer is nothing at all like we had imagined it: sitting next to the fireside in a wooly sweater, sipping tea and creating works of staggering genius. That might be something Sarah and Geo do, but I certainly don’t. At the moment, I’m sitting on a hard wooden chair, hunched over my computer in a dark room, struggling to write just one freaking sentence.
In a way, writing is a lot like running. It sucks a lot when you’re actually doing it, but once you’ve stopped, rested, and recovered it wasn’t that bad. Maybe even a bit fun. Last week I wrote about practicing creativity... and the discipline it requires to be productively creative. Discipline and creativity don’t typically go together – at least not in popular views – but how would you ever get anything done if you didn’t glue your ass to the chair and write?
What’s your creative process?