As a magazine publisher, I deal with submission deadlines all the time. Without deadlines, nothing would ever happen; writers would invariably ask for additional time or, more likely, they’d never make time to write in the first place.
I don’t set submission deadlines to frustrate people; deadlines are necessary to move towards publication. Deadlines are also not arbitrary. They are but one item on a tight schedule I must follow to produce each issue on time.
As a publisher, I understand the critical importance of deadlines, which motivates me as a writer to never miss one. In fact, my goal is to beat every submission deadline I’m given. Though I’ve cut things close a few times, I’ve never missed one yet; usually I’m a few days early. I know how much editors and publishers appreciate timely submissions and even more so how much they welcome early arrivals.
While I excel at meeting other people’s deadlines, I’m awful at the ones I set for myself. With no outside pressure to propel me forward, I invariably find a reason for delay. My excuse is I need more time to make it better.
The problem is I can always make it better. This is the tyranny of perfection. As a recovering perfectionist I still struggle with my inner voice that whispers, It’s not done; it can be better; you need more time.
Thus, my self-imposed deadline slips. I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with that.
How are you at meeting submission deadlines? What about your own deadlines?