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Home » Archives » September 2006 » Inner Critic Flattened by Impending Deadline
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09/29/2006: Inner Critic Flattened by Impending Deadline

Another week, another episode of Project Runway. This week's episode was about how deadlines can sometimes make you do really good work. It's true, and it applies to writing as well as to kicky sundresses. (I promise, this site is not going to be about the dress metaphor every day.) When you don't have time to second-guess yourself, when you don't have time to compulsively question every line you write, you can write better.

Some people can assign themselves deadlines. Others make promises to friends about when a project will be done. These don't really work for me, because I know they're fake -- neither I nor my friends enjoy the power of enforcement. Under these circumstances, I still tend to let the work expand to fit the allowed time.

What does work for me? Well, save me from myself, because the answer seems to be: take on another project. Suddenly, that distant deadline looks a lot closer, doesn't it? Because I know there's that other thing that also has to get done in the same amount of time. Now I'm working -- fast, smoothly, without a lot of hand-wringing and pacing. Just writin' without thinkin'.

My father always says "give the job to the busy person." He means that the reason that the busy person has so much work on their desk is because everyone knows that they're the one who will get it done. There's a lot to be said for making yourself the busy person.

Lunch: the "carne asada burrito" lunch special at the Universal Studios cafeteria. Oh! The raw onion! My god!


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