Thursday, September 23, 2010

DEADLINES – “I’m going to make this one.”

Maybe this week I’ll actually meet my deadline and post this blog on a Thursday like I promised myself.

But worried I’m going to miss the deadline for finishing the artwork of my web comic.

Which got me to thinking about deadlines.

Since I’m “between” assignments right now, I have had to created self-imposed deadlines on myself or I wouldn’t get anything done.

Here are the deadlines I have set for myself right now:

Sunday – The latest page of FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY has been penciled, inked and approved and I post it to the web site.

Tuesday – The next chapter of “Revenge of the Masked Ghost” is posted to my note page on facebook (Which maybe moving to its own site soon.)

Thursday – I post my "Four Names of Professional Creativity" blog (hopefully this got posted on a Thursday).

Saturday – Study and Prep for the Sunday School/Bible Study I lead Sunday mornings.

You can find most of the links for these over there on the right, and if you’re reading this you’ve found it already and don’t need the link.

As I’m writing this I am also penciling more of the comic, and working on a novel. One thing I am good at is multitasking, but it doesn’t always help.

I need to have these deadlines, not only does it force me to get the work done it also keeps me thinking in the same mind set as I would when employed to do the work under even tighter deadlines.

If not for these deadlines I’d constantly be finding reasons not to do the work. It’s so easy to get distracted as is (thank you Twitter).

One of the hardest things for me to do is something I really need to do more of. That’s to write spec scripts (samples of my writing, either a movie, a television show, animation, or a comic book). If I know someone is interested in my work and wants to see a sample, or is willing to let me pitch for their project, I can write up a good sample in a short time. However, if I don’t have a goal like that it becomes hard to build up the energy to write. So I need to force a deadline and goal on myself to get it done.

It’s coming on a year now since I decided to participate in NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month ( I had a vague idea for a science fiction novel and so signed up for it. In Nano the writer has thirty days to write 50,000 words of a novel. You don’t have to complete the story, but the goal is to reach that number.

Surprisingly I reached 50,000 with a couple of days to spare, and actually finish the entire first draft.

The problem I did have with the story was that though I knew where it should end up, it was all over the place with far more characters then planned taking different paths to reach that end. Every so often I go back and take a look at it, there’s still something there but I have to rip it apart and workout a detailed outline to put all the parts back together again.

What made it even more frustrating was that about a week into Nano I had an idea for a completely different novel, which would have worked out a whole lot better if I had begun with it. But I had committed myself to the first story and was going to see it through. I paused long enough to write down about a page worth of notes on the new story and then got back to Nano.

Once I completed the Nano novel and feeling victorious I gave myself a few days off and then turned to the second story. And I surprised myself by having the first draft of it done by the end of December.

With Nano I was proved to myself that I could complete a major assignment under a deadline, and the second novel proved that it just wasn’t a onetime event. Though I didn’t have someone else counting down the days I pushed to get it finished before the end of the year, and I succeeded.

Lastly, as I approach the deadline for this blog I want to mention that a Deadline can also be considered a Finish Line of a race. Whether you’ve been given an assignment, or working on a personal project you run for that line. When you cross the finish line or beat that that deadline, if you’ve worked your hardest and done your best work, you’re already victorious. The acclaim, the fortune, the fame, that’ll come later.

And with that little gem I’m just going to make this deadline with about an hour to spare.

Oh, one more thing. I just finished the pencils on the comic page, so I will be able to meet the deadline for FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY as well.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity.

No comments: