This quote is as much true as it is funny. Of course, when we’re on a deadline, most of us will ‘suddenly’ get more and more creative, the closer we get to the deadline. Of course, there are some of us whose nature is similar to the one of Douglas Adams who famously said: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
But I would say, most of us work hard to keep deadlines, and the shorter the time, the more the pressure grows. Some writers need that pressure, and some others won’t be able to write a word under it.
It started in school already, when we had to study for a test, didn’t it? Some students were the ones who studied every day, to internalize all the knowledge, while others, me included, allegedly studied ‘better’ the higher the pressure and tension. (You could also say, we just really didn’t want to waste any more time studying, as we had to and rather enjoyed doing whatever we found more enjoyable and interesting than working for the school.
Later on, in my professional life, there was no ‘flying by deadline’… If that would have happened more than once in my career, the very same would have been over faster than I could have apologized.
Now, setting my own deadlines when it comes to writing, I am very determined to keep them. It’s absolutely impossible to be successful in writing without keeping deadlines, be they set up by us or by the publisher, or literary agent, or, who else has the right to pressure us to move our pen for work.
Bill Watterson has it right… creativity cannot be turned on and off like a faucet. I cannot ‘decide’ to be creative on a Thursday, and not so creative on Saturday. Bill Watterson had his own deadlines, and being a phenomenal creative writer and famous comic illustrator, he knew what ‘last minute panic’ meant.
My creativity nudges me gently when it’s time to write books. But it’s not always there when I’m supposed to write blog posts. That means, I’m taking notes, wherever I am and have an idea for a new blog post. This one, actually, showed up while I was working on my newsletter!
I’m always anxious to keep my readers interested and therefore want to make sure that I’m publishing my posts on time and keeping them diversified and on time. Blogs are not followed if the posts are not showing up, and I have invested a lot to keep ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ up and running. Now I would like to build a stable fan base for my books and blog. So, no lack of deadlines for me.
How do you keep creative? What do you do if you have the feeling your creativity isn’t flowing? And what do you do to tickle your muse? Let us know in the comments, we’re curious!
About Bill Watterson
William Boyd Watterson II (born July 5, 1958) is a retired American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, which was syndicated from 1985 to 1995. Watterson stopped drawing Calvin and Hobbes at the end of 1995, with a short statement to newspaper editors and his readers that he felt he had achieved all he could in the medium. Watterson is known for his negative views on comic syndication and licensing, his efforts to expand and elevate the newspaper comic as an art form, and his move back into private life after he stopped drawing Calvin and Hobbes. Watterson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The suburban Midwestern United States setting of Ohio was part of the inspiration for Calvin and Hobbes.
On a Side Note:
Needless to say that I absolutely ADORE Calvin and Hobbes and am a fan of Bill Watterson’s work.