I should be excited to know that it's doable. So why do I feel faintly depressed? Because I might beat myself up if I fail to meet my daily target on a number of occasions? Because a deadline makes it feel like real work? Which it is, of course... just the most fun type imaginable.
You could argue that a deadline is something to be relished. To be able to reach that end point on time, and bask in the glory of a job well done. I've always worked best under pressure - at school and uni, my essays tended to go in just under the wire.
But I can't help feeling, as I'm not a published author with a contract and no one is standing waiting, tapping their foot, for me to deliver this book, I should allow myself more freedom and flexibility and let things proceed at their own pace. On the other hand, I don't want it to drag on for an inordinate length of time. I don't want to spend two and a half years writing a book again, as with my first novel. Granted, we had a baby and moved house simultaneously in the middle of it, but that's lame: everyone does that stuff, right?
What are your feelings on deadlines and targets in general? Do you find they hamper creativity, or does it help you to work with some sort of time frame in mind - to get the job done?
Before I go, I've been musing on the subject of critique partners lately (thanks to Nancy S. Thompson's great post). I'm always nervous about sharing my work with others, but maybe if I knew there was someone waiting to read it, it might help motivate me to meet my goal. (Nancy's just had some amazing news by the way, so head over and congratulate her!) Anyone got a manuscript they're looking to finish up by the summer and want to swap? I'm too shy to ask people, so consider this an open audition. Any offers welcome! My WIP falls into the thriller category, so if that's your bag, I'd love to hear from you.
And finally, I apologise in advance if I might not be around quite so much over the next couple of weeks, as I attempt to get my posts together for the A-Z Challenge (two down, just 24 to go!) My wife booked a last-minute deal to Blackpool on the 2nd to the 6th for the Easter holiday, and while I'll regret not being fully involved for those days, it does mean I have to preschedule those dates at least. We're also going on a cruise from the 28th, so I'll miss Y and Z, which look to be among the most entertaining. Ah well, we all need holidays eh? Don't forget, it's not too late to sign up at the A-Z Challenge blog. If you're taking part, how's your post planning going, or do you intend to play it by ear?