Writer’s Desk: Deadlines Help

Writers like to complain. It’s one of our favorite pastimes. We particularly enjoy griping about deadlines. How unreasonable they are, how foolish we were to agree to them, how we couldn’t possibly get everything done before them, and so on.

But, against our nature as it might be, there are times when we should embrace the deadline.

Consider Saturday Night Live. Every week while in season, the writers ponder, pitch, write, rewrite, throw ideas into the garbage can in disgust, fish those ideas out later and dust them off, and generally burn the candle at every possible end to put a show together by the end of the week. As anybody who has watched the show over the years can attest, the end product is not perfect. But it never could be. Because endless time can be its own kind of trap.

SNL founder and creative mind Lorne Michaels famously put it this way:

The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.

Be thankful for the deadline. If not for that, you might never finish writing.

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