Thursday, January 08, 2009

Under pressure

Click here for 40 Inspirational Speeches in Two Minutes.

How do you get motivated to create? If it were easy, everyone would do it. Creativity is hard work, and it takes time. I started this blog because I wanted to make time for my creative work. That's the same reason why I did NaNoWriMo.

Having completed NaNoWriMo for three years running, and having worked in deadline-driven publishing environments for four years, I have determined that I work extremely well with deadlines. NaNoWriMo's deadline may be somewhat arbitrary, but it works for me.

The blog that I linked to at the top is run by this guy I went to high school with and his friends from college (he made the video!). The blog ran a contest in September/October for a movie script with strong female characters. I ended up writing what I consider to be a comic book-type movie, for the teens-and-early-twenties-comic-book-fangirl set (is that too specific? Probably!). I actually didn't finish by their deadline, and consequently, didn't submit it. However, because of the deadline, I now have more than 100 pages of screenplay to my name. That's 100 pages more than I had in August. It's amazing what a little bit of deadline pressure can do!

Do deadlines work for you? Do you set them for yourself, or do you let others set them? And if deadlines aren't your thing, what is it that drives you to create?


Lil Miss said...

I set deadlines for myself, but I generally consider them to be flexible =)

Melanie said...

The deadlines in my current workplace are "flexible" ... rather, I guess I would say that they're "deadlines." :)

Things get done, eventually, but I'm working on a couple of projects that were WAY over normal time expectations (3 years to report on a couple of grant-making formulas?) even before I was asked to start on them.

Hard-and-fast deadlines get me going, but if I miss one, and it's "flexible," I set a new one instead of just saying, "it'll get done!"

I also like to have a lot of little deadlines, like, "post by 9:00" or "finish this chapter before the weekend."

I've been applying these principles to my housework, too. The place is cleaner than ever, and I'm totally caught up on my laundry! Deadlines are useful!

Lil Miss said...

It's funny because H & I were talking about that the other day. I commented that I don't think I could work on a project that had a deadline longer than 1 year, maybe 1.5 years. I use little deadlines, too, and they do help a lot. Except I find myself thinking more about little deadlines during the day or before I head to bed.

BTW, thanks for the clip you attached. So that's what MB's been up to. I wonder about random people from high school at random times.