Cup of Dcaf: The Curse of Deadlines

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Any writer knows about deadlines. Whether you’re a creative writer working on a draft, or a copywriter slogging through an article or manual, you understand how a deadline looms every time you sit down and put your fingers to the keyboard.

That dark cloud hovers in the back of your mind, tensing the muscles in your shoulders. A little bundle of urgency bubbles in your stomach. The thing is, deadlines are both a blessing and a curse.

There’s no doubt that writing under pressure is hard; heck, writing at all is no easy task on many occasions. With the added expectation of a deadline, writer’s block can rear its annoying little head at any time. Most often, for me, this happens when I still have a decent amount of time remaining before a deadline, whether it’s for a freelance article or a self-set deadline for a story. This is the most frustrating part of the process: when I sit down and my mind just refuses to put the words together in anything other than clunky, awkward sentences that do the exact opposite of pop off the page.

But there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel. As that deadline draws nearer, and the pressure mounts, the adrenaline of panic breaks through the wall in my mind. Words start flowing again. Thoughts form in new ways, working around issues I’d been beating my metaphorical head against.

It’s because of this that I always recommend setting deadlines for personal writing projects. Lots of people I know complain about writer’s block—and it’s certainly a real thing—but don’t know how to get around it. They’ve tried all kinds of things, but it never quite dissolves the barrier between their ideas and the page. A deadline is a great motivator, and could be that last little push that you need to get back to producing fulfilling content.

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