"The ultimate inspiration is the deadline."
Apparently, Nolan Bushnell, founder of both Atari Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese's chain of restaurants, said that. I know it to be true.
For a fact.
Case in point: Last night, I hit "Publish" on my blog post at 11:59 p.m., getting it in at the last possible minute -- literally -- so it would count for yesterday.
Mind you, I'm not officially participating in the Blogging From A to Z challenge, so if I were to be late, it's not like I'd get kicked out of the endeavor. But I am committed to challenging myself to do this without missing a day, a letter or a post during the remainder of this month.
There are plenty of other examples throughout my life of how inspiring a deadline can be. Although I could comb my childhood for some of them, the time it became strikingly apparent was in high school when I'd study for a test or write a paper the night before it was due. That was my pattern in college, too. As a result, I pulled many an all-nighter.
When I started writing for a living, I found that things just didn't start to come together until the deadline got nearer. That continues today. Even though ideas roam around in my mind and gestate, and they often make their way onto real or electronic paper in a brain dump, nothing gets solid until I actually plant my butt in a chair and have to make it happen.
I think deadline inspiration is part and parcel of having a creative mind -- though the phenomenon certainly is not limited to those we traditionally think of as creative, such as writers and artists. Maybe it's just part of the human condition.
Whatever it is, I'm grateful for the opportunity deadlines provide to simply get things done, like writing regularly for this blog. Otherwise, many posts might go by the wayside and remain in the world of things undone, keeping company with many of the very creative ideas I've been gifted with through the years but not acted on.
Tonight, I will hit "Publish" nearly three hours before the deadline. It feels good to get it done with a little breathing room.