As of ten minutes ago, I’m more or less done with my short story. I have one more question niggling the back of my brain, and I’m waiting for the all-seeing, all-knowing perspective of my critique group to help me find clarity. But with or without their response, I will be finished with my story tomorrow.
What brought on this quick end to a months-long ordeal? Simple: Tomorrow is the deadline for a competition that is just perfect for “The Third Day.” So, for better or for worse, by midnight tomorrow it will be all over.
Come to think of it, I’ve always done better knowing there was a time limit. Otherwise, I could tinker forever. Even today, I look at Beggars’ Queen and itch to fix things, tweak word choices—and it’s been published for two years!
There you go, people. The answer to writer’s block, to procrastination, to lack of self-confidence? DEADLINE.