<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Saturday, April 23, 2005
The Power of Deadlines

Interesting few weeks. Writing deadline #1 has come and gone, and in the space of those 17 days I managed to write two complete stories. The first, hereafter known as The Basement Story, was truly dreadful. I asked before if it was possible to write a story in which the main character is trapped in a basement for the entire narrative and have it be interesting. I maintain that the answer is "yes"; however, the story that I wrote was not. Very much not. Oh, the lessons learned (the crucial one being, no it is not interesting to watch someone remember the plot).

The second story I liked a great deal more, despite its being written in less time. My thanks go out to Jana, Leah, Sarah and Ruth, all of whom jumped in to offer me amazing last-minute thoughts and critiques. Got it in by deadline. Thought that this would be a week of quiet and refocusing, but no; it was a week of crazy story revisions. Sent my revisions in yesterday and am now awaiting final/official word. (I think.)

I have confirmed something about myself through this whole process: deadlines are good for me. Oh, yes, they make me rant and spit at times, and moan and whine at others, but do they ever make me work. Writing quotas, word counts and such only make me irritable (more's the pity), but if I can set up some deadlines for future work and -- here's the key -- have someone else who will hold me accountable for these deadlines, then I think we'd see some progress.

As for deadline #2, now less than a month away ... well, back to work shortly. I am determined, etc.

At work, I have discovered that nothing generates interest in a project more than canceling it. With less than two weeks left in my contract, and with this sudden wave of people asking for someone to explain and help them understand ePortfolios, blogs, social networking, web syndication and a host of other lovely things, the powers that be at the Career Centre decided to extend my contract for another month, providing me with employment (and all those lovely benefits) until the end of May. Here is another situation in which deadlines make me work. I have five weeks left to make a serious difference.

In the mean time, all I want is to catch up on three weeks of sleep.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 1:16 PM


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