or, why start dates are better than deadlines
Henriette- fun read and I’m starting to support writers and other artists directly vs. organizations or businesses. This is not for some abstract notion, but to see if the direct support yields more enjoyable writing or art for me.
I’ve recently started reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. In the beginning chapters that I’ve read, he reminds us that the process is meant to be fun instead of just the goal. As a deadline driven person, this is a mini revelation for me. In the past I’ve thrived on getting to the metaphorical finish line and crossing something off my list, but am learning to slow down and enjoy the process. A timely essay for me when I’m feeling that catching up on newsletters and reading is procrastination. The reality is that I need that balance to enjoy the process and the project overall.
Thank you, thank you! Having spent the weekend writing blogs about ChatGTP (my remorseless copywriting predator) and the "thrilling potential" of Artificial Intelligence, I need a way back to fiction. I'll try to follow at least a bit of your path.
Yes! Yes! Yes! I feel like as a society--artistic and otherwise--we put too much focus on the ending and forget about beginnings. I'd say it's a chicken and the egg problem, but it's not--you can't have an ending without a beginning. And if you put to much stock on ending you forget that an end is just the step before beginning again.
I agree, start dates deserve at least as much reverence and respect as deadlines, if not more. What I read between the lines is honoring your start time helps you be more present for the journey. This worked for me when I wrote my book. I celebrated many starts - the outline, the additional research I realized I needed, the first draft, both major revisions. Those celebrations and that focus helped when my unrealistic notions of how long each stage would take pushed my deadlines out more times than I'd like to count.
Wise words! Thanks for this thoughtful post, Henriette!
Wait, that's not true. I'm pretty sure there's at least three of us who are really really really interested in reading that revision. Maybe we should be the ones giving you the deadline? ;p
Though I'm a big believer, of course, in the power of a looming deadline, I agree that setting an intention at the beginning--and then sticking with it--is often overlooked. There's something less onerous and more hopeful about it. (Also, I loved your use of footnotes!)