In all my various jobs, I have always had deadlines of one sort or another, and of course at university I had monthly deadlines. Since I am not a traditionally published writer, I have never had to deal with external deadlines when it comes to my writing.
To get anything done, therefore, I have to apply self-imposed deadlines. There is a small problem with them, however. They are self-imposed. Which means they can be missed without any sort of negative consequence. Yes, my writing suffers and my future writing career suffers, but there are no immediate concrete negative effects.
Even asking friends to help me be accountable doesn’t mean anything. They aren’t going to punish me if I don’t follow through. In fact, they won’t even care that much because my lack of writing has no impact on their lives. It’s just not important.
So, what does it all mean for my writing?
That I can’t rely on any external force to push me because there isn’t any. Maybe one day if I get a publishing contract and I choose to accept it then, yes, I will have to deal with deadlines, but for now I can only rely on desire and determination.
And if they aren’t enough, then the fundamental question becomes: How much do I really want to be a writer?
And that is the question that does get me writing, deadlines or no deadlines.