I signed up to do a story contest for Codex, an online writing group I’m part of. Just a little thing, write a short story based on a random prompt for Halloween. It’s due this Sunday.
I don’t think I’m going to make it.
Procrastination had always been part of the plan– I figured I would crank most of the story out the last two weeks before the deadline. Then last week (post birthday whining) my oldest daughter got sick, which left me playing Florence Nightengale for a few days. I cut a fine figure in a nurses outfit. Then, of course, I got sick, which hammered a few more days. After which I had to run around and catch up on all the things that I’d put off while I was lying next to my toilet, wishing my stomach would stop trying to climb up my esophagus.
So, that kind of cracked my schedule, which means it’s likely I’ll be bouncing out of this contest. Not such a big deal– it was mostly a way to make me crank out another short story, and I will finish this one up. But it points out something that drives me crazy sometimes. Writing is always the thing that seems to get bounced when the schedule gets crunched. It makes sense. Having no absolute deadlines, it can always be put off.
But if you put it off long enough… well, then you’re never writing.
That’s why you have to force it into the schedule. However you can. Because if you don’t you’ll never have a deadline to force you to write.
Which, oddly enough, is something I really want.