Tag Archives: the heat is on

Daily Prompt: The Heat Is On

Today’s Daily Post:

Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it? Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of? Tell us how you work best.

This is what I look like when I can't seem to find the right ending.  (http://group2berwick.wordpress.com/visual-art/)

How I brainstorm at the start of a two week deadline.


















When I was in college, I’d sometimes be up at 4 AM the morning a paper (or even a poem) was due, tapping away furiously at my computer; usually, this is when my best work poured out onto the screen. For some, deadlines are a relief, a “thank goodness I have five days to complete this daunting task” sort of feeling. For others, like myself, it’s a different kind of happiness; it means we can do whatever we want for four days, and on the fifth day we shall write the poem. Or the paper. Or create the PowerPoint, or whatever.

Personally, being given time to brainstorm and piece something together is more like an unnecessary torture. It allows me space to second guess myself, bounce between ideas and obsess over which path to take. With three days to go my mind would be wandering to that glass of wine and that favorite show that’s on, not to hunkering down at my desk and getting shit done. Oh, and froyo. Mmm.

But when there’s only hours to go before my piece is expected to drop into someone’s lap, I work. I can be expected to focus on nothing else except the task at hand, and the pressure of time has allowed only one idea to rise to the surface of my fast-paced brain with no distractions, and no room to question whether or not this was my best idea or not. It’s like an imaginary gun has been held to my head – FINISH NOW, or no more froyo. Ever. Or wine. (I’d write a novel in an hour if I had to.)

How do you work best? 


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