Writing with Deadlines
What is it about writing with a deadline that seems to take all the joy out of the process?
For me, writing is fun. Some mornings, when I don’t have anything to do, I’ll sit down at my computer and just write stuff. That stuff isn’t about anything, it doesn’t have any purpose. It’s just for fun. So why is it when my biology teacher assigns a simple 500 word assignment that’s due in a week I inwardly groan? Granted, part of that problem may be that I don’t have the greatest passion for biology. However, the same thing happens when I am assigned anything. I just sigh and prepare to write something I don’t want to. Here is what I think is going on. When someone forces me to write with a deadline, I instantly make negative associations that have been developed since I was a child. The whole writing as a job or a task that must be done, as opposed to writing for fun, has been ingrained in my mind as undesirable work. This problem is prevalent across essentially the entire education system. Writing has become a task, and children aren’t allowed to enjoy it at an early age and then carry on that enjoyment into later life.
So how will this affect writing as a profession? After all, writing as a profession is all about meeting deadlines and writing what other people tell you too. Is it possible to have fun and enjoy yourself? I think the solution for writers who suffer from my same problem is to write for yourself. Write what you want to write, when you want to write it, and work hard, and enjoy it. Working when it isn’t enjoyable never comes to any fruition and will never produce your best work.