Deadlines drag us from the idolatry of ideas, forcing us to produce, and then ship. It’s the best cure for paralysis emanating from over-analysis.

At the JBE, I’ve self-imposed deadlines in order to force the issue and keep fresh content coming. Not all the content is award-winning, or apparently, even enticing to people who’ve visited the site in the past. That’s ok—I’m going to keep on keeping on, robust blog stats or not.

As for deadlines, I’m now facing other types, the ones that come from making successful pitches to editors and having them tell me when they want my article, and how many words I get to tell my story. I especially like those kinds of deadlines because they also come with dollar signs attached. There wouldn’t be these new opportunities if not for my diligence in keeping my blogging storefront up-to-date and current.

Blogging is where my writing found its first platform. Much of my early content back in the old Greymatter days and then later, at my next blog, Words Matter, wasn’t always the greatest, and often, never strayed too far from being a rant. Ranting is a good way to get some things off your chest and develop your craft as a writer. Over time, I began to finding my voice and figuring out a few things.

Writing is all about finding ways to arrange words. The mistake some new writers have (and even some veteran ones) is that rather than strive for gathering words, and more rather than less, they get fixated on the perfect order. Order comes from volume, and then paring it down, at least that’s an approach that works for me. Maybe that’s why I’ve been blogging for more than a decade now—because it isn’t so much about perfection, but is contingent on generating regular content.

Friday’s focus is on hitting a couple of deadlines, making a few follow-up calls, and getting things in order for Monday. Today’s post is a reflection of keeping the content fresh, and yet opting for economy in this particular space, at this particular time.

Here’s a finished product that I shipped two weeks ago and just came out, my summer reading suggestions for the Portland Phoenix.

2 thoughts on “Deadlines

  1. Ten years is a long time to do anything. Isn’t that the “mastery” point? I enjoyed your Phoenix piece and am looking forward to your new book! Stats, Schmatz!

    • @JAB
      I’m not sure I’ve reached the “mastery point” on anything. I do know that Malcolm Gladwell talks about “the 10,000 hour rule,” and I know as a writer, I’m well beyond that level of apprenticeship.

      I continue to learn–freelance writing is something I think I’ve learned some important things over just the past 6 months.

      Thanks for reading my summer reading list in the Phoenix. I’m enjoying doing some book reviewing for them, and perhaps some other kinds of articles.

Comments are closed.