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  • D. G. Martin

Deadlines and Drudgery


An alarm clock with the word DEADLINE under it.
Time keeps on spinning, spinning, spinning....

December 31, 2018. That’s the deadline I’ve set to finish the first draft of my novel manuscript. 


You know what I need, though? I need a penalty of some kind of I don’t meet the deadline. It can’t just be a slap on the wrist kind of penalty. No, this one needs to be serious, an actual consequence of not doing something that I promised myself I would do. 


I mean, if I break a promise to myself, how easy is it to break a promise to someone else?


Okay, maybe that one’s a little too loaded for a Tuesday. 


So what kind of penalty should I set if I fail to meet this deadline? Does this even motivate me? Will I end up not meeting the deadline in a kind of game of chicken with myself to see which one of me blinks first?


This could get ugly, folks. I’ve got a deadline, and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. 


Or something like that. 


Maybe it’s that I’ve got a deadline, and I know how to use it? 


You are your own worst enemy. I’ve heard that phrase a lot over the years. 


You know what I’ve never heard? “You are your own best friend.”


Nobody ever says that one. Why not? Why can I only be at odds with myself?

Is that what inner peace is? I need to watch the Kung Fu Panda trilogy now. I bet the answers are in there. 


So what am I going to do if I don’t meet the deadline? 


I’m going to….um….be so mad at myself that….I’ll….delete the manuscript?


WHOA! That’s some A-Level self-hate there. I’m not sure even my worst enemy would do that to me, and I know that guy pretty well (see above).


Smash a valued relic? 


No, I know I’d stop myself and call me stupid for even thinking either of us could do that. 

I’LL NEVER WRITE ANYTHING ELSE EVER AGAIN!


Hmmm….nope. 


You know what? 


I think I’m just going to have to trust myself on this one. Future me will either rue the day he made this decision, or will dance with glee in triumph as I ring in 2019 with a finished manuscript. 


How’s that for self-motivation? 


And I didn’t even need a guru. 


D.G. 


Picture from here

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