I read recently that some of the brightest, most successful people spend their lives up against deadlines. While they may create masterpieces, they also often wait till the last possible minute to accomplish what they need to. It is, perhaps, a trap. But maybe it is also an opportunity--to harness need and pressure in order to up the stakes in what we are creating.
I confess, though I am not in the habit of doing the work the morning
of, I have certainly had my last minute moments. Whether it's staying up
late because something took longer than expected, or scrambling to
write a post or finish the laundry that should have been done hours ago,
I suppose we all sometimes find ourselves up against a deadline. We
know what we do for that deadline. The question is, what does that
deadline do for us? Does it make our head spin so much that we can't do
quality work? Or does it make our head spin that much faster to use the
best of our creative juices?
A deadline, as the word suggests, puts us in a situation of having to
save our own lives, whether what we are saving is simply a schedule, or
our pride, or something more significant. Will we let the deadline
flatten us? Or will we let it take us to new creative places, where the
pressure of time and the excitement of raised stakes combine to make us
more than we thought we could be? I may not be waiting till the morning
of to find out. But I can't help be moved by the power of the
deadline--the stakes keep me writing and reaching and trying to make the
deadlines without being flattened. Whether it's a week ahead, or the
day before, or the morning of, we can all find brilliance in the
deadlines. They keep us on track and in motion. And I'll take that kind
of motivation any day.