The simple answer is yes. They are very important. Whether the deadline you’re working on is self-imposed or one set upon you by some faceless name is of little importance. What is important is what’s behind that deadline, the bottom line. Most of us strive for publication and if that is our goal then a deadline will ultimately be a part of our lives at some point in our chosen career.

Giving ourselves a deadline is oft times just as important as one given by an agent or a publisher. hey make us accountable to ourselves. We no longer can allow dilly-dally. We are working toward a goal and the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (I know too many cliches.)

Without the dreaded looming deadline we get very little done. We don’t see the number on the calendar march on, we don’t see the possibilities evaporate or the contest date expiring. What we see is plenty of time. What that normally means is time wasted. Nothing constructive gets done. Our stories remain unfinished. We can claim nothing. Eventually when someone asks, “Are you published yet?” and you answer, “Not yet,” you will become a non-writer in their eyes. They will call your, ‘I’m a writer,’ remark nothing more than, ‘calling wolf.’ You’ll find yourself a has-been and you haven’t even been anything.

So are deadlines important? You bet they are. Start this month with a goal of writing something with a date in mind for its completion. Don’t give yourself anything that is unrealistic. Play fair with yourself. Remember that word count has a lot to do with the time allotted and that there should be time for editing included.


Example: A 3,000 word story may take 2-3 weeks but a non-fiction article of the same length may take only a week. It all depends on the amount of variables.