Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deadlines suck

Even as I finish typing the title of this post on my blogger template, I recognize the lie.

Who am I kidding? I've always been a deadline girl.  

I used to love production night at the weekly newspaper - spending until the wee hours of the morning putting the publication to bed and then stumbling, tired and brain dead, into the local Smittys for breakfast, and finally, blissfully, falling onto my own mattress for a few hours of coveted sleep. I considered it a dark day in my Journalism career when the new publisher implemented tighter rules (no more all nighters - gasp!)

Deadlines give me an adrenaline rush. I know, sick, right?  But I work best when I have them - and the more urgent, the better. I suspect I learned this habit in college, when homework and the part-time job became equally as important as filling my social calendar, much to my then editor's dismay.

This deadline addiction has bled into my personal life. For instance, the finer details of my wedding were not finalized until just a few days before the big event. 

You might think I'm mistaking deadline adoration for procrastination, and while I concede the two can go hand in hand, I think my pain is more self-inflicted. If I am not plagued by deadline, I'm unmotivated - even lazy. If I do procrastinate, it is only to further increase the sense of urgency, to create a bigger adrenaline payoff when I've completed the task. 

I'm facing a couple of big deadlines right now, and while there is a part of me that awaits your empathy, the greater part of me is doing backflips. My muse is as well. He and I both know that if I have a deadline looming, my best, most creative work will emerge. 

The associated stress is a small price to pay.

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