"There are those who make their own deadlines and those who have deadlines thrust upon them".
I happily admit that I have two distinct sides to my personality. There is the side that is creative and the side that is business. The creative side is the one responsible for decorating the house, baking, and (in the past) acted, directed and designed costumes; now it writes. The business side is the one responsible for setting budgets and sticking to them, knowing when the car insurance needs to be renewed and making sure enough money is set aside for that 'rainy day'. In the past it ran a theatre company. I'm sure most people have these qualities. The business side recognizes the seriousness of deadlines; the creative side does the actual writing. However, there are two different types deadlines and that's where my trouble starts.
These have been around since school when a teacher said "The homework is due Friday." Everyone learned how to deal with it; some did it that night, some did it over a number of days, some did it Friday morning. Regardless of methodology, the homework was handed in. Now we deal with deadlines imposed by publishers, contests, etc. There is a date carved in stone and (with publishers) a signed contract. I've never had a problem meeting these, usually with room to spare (as I knock wood). I acknowledge a great amount of almost-last-second flurry and the inevitable panic when my brain decides to freeze; but the project always gets done and submitted.
I concede to the world that these are my Waterloo. I can set them but it's rare that I meet them. I think it's because I know the world isn't going to cave in if I don't. The only person who knows I didn't meet my deadline is me. I admit a certain amount of self-loathing ensues, but I can move on. I know there are writers out there who set themselves deadlines or writing goals and meet them with ease. They write 2,000 words a day, or five chapters a week. They finish their first draft in a timely and effective manner. My envy has no bounds.
How do you deal with these deadlines? Are both types met with self-discipline and fortitude? If so, how on earth do you do it? Please share your magic formula!