If you're a writer, you've likely become accustomed to crunching against a deadline timeclock and trying to conjure up any type of creativity left in you to make what you're writing special. I know this because, in fact, that's what's happening right now to me.
Whether you're a paid writer or unpaid contributing writer, deadlines are necessary. I know this from both an editor's point of view and from a writer's perspective. I'm both simultaneously trying to hit the deadline to first, challenge myself in my line of work and push past any obstacles involved, and second, practice what I preach. If I can't uphold the rule as a writer and editor, how can I expect my own writers to do so?
No one prefers to write on a deadline and if someone does, well, I'd love to meet them and share some words. Deadlines are stress-inducing, creativity-deflating and downright agitating. You never feel like you have enough time to finish what you're working on well or write something to your fullest potential. It's an ongoing game of tug-of-war but it's also one that you chose to partake in.
When I signed up to be a writer, I knew what it would entail when I was accepted into my position. The rules were quite simple actually: I write what I want, I have a whole week's time, and I just need to submit by a certain time on a certain day. For me, that day is Wednesday and that time is midnight. I can write about absolutely anything I want, so not hitting a deadline is quite absurd since the conditions are freeing.
As an editor, deadlines are what makes my world go round. If I let creators submit whenever they wanted to, it would be an absolute free-for-all. I'm sure some writers would really step up to the plate and submit weekly, if not multiple times a week. But the grand majority will likely never submit and if they did, the work they produce will never be as good as they claim it could be.
My writers complain about deadlines. Not all of them do, but there are definitely a few. They find deadlines frustrating, which I can agree to, but they are also lessons.
If you can't stick to a deadline that allows you to write 500 words in a week, how can you call yourself a writer? That amount of words should take an hour, maybe two if you are really putting in the effort. Writing should come naturally and even if it doesn't, it should at least be enjoyable if you chose this as either a hobby or profession.
Not talking about my writers here because they are all really wonderful people, but I've seen other contributors from the site that solely complain about everything involved in the writing process. I don't understand how these people can pride themselves with the title of being a writer but only complain about the work it takes to be one. If you aren't willing to put in the effort, why bother even holding the position in the first place?
One of the negative factors of being a writer is the deadlines. One of the negative factors of being an artist is the deadlines. One of the negative factors of being an engineer is the deadlines, in the sense of needing to produce a product within a set amount of time. The same can be said about a mathematician, a doctor, or an athlete. Everyone works on deadlines of different degrees and intensities, but the principles are all the same.
As for writers, deadlines are meant to keep you on track and accountable. They teach you strength, creativity, and diligence. The lessons that follow deadlines stick with you for years – I know this because I'm constantly reminded of their magnitude in both of my positions.
If I don't stick to a deadline, my writing becomes lost. I always think that maybe I'll find inspiration to write more, but I know that will never be the case. In fact, the quite opposite will likely occur. I will forget when the last time I wrote was, I won't make writing a priority of my week, and I won't practice my creativity outlet like I should.
All in all, deadlines suck but they do more for your work ethic than you may realize. If you can stick to a deadline in one line of work, you can stick to another. The talent transcends fields because the sentiment always rings true. If you plan accordingly, put in the effort, and care about what you're doing, you're going to accomplish great things in anything you choose to do. Your dedication will benefit you in many ways, especially in the way your boss sees you (speaking as an editor here).
Put in the work. Do your job. Appreciate the opportunities in front of you.