Deadlines! We've all heard about them, and most of us have had them. There is one thing most people don't understand about deadlines that can stop them dead in their tracks (sorry, had to pun it!)...When something is due. That's right, due is not the same as dead.
Take publishing companies for example (after all, this is a blog about writing); they have a call for submissions and it's deadline is on the 33rd of Cantremember. You've wrote your killer story, checked it over and over, had critique partners check it over and over too, and it's been pronounced done. The most amazing story ever is ready for submission by the 21st, but you hold on to it.
Wait, what? Why?
Well, the deadline is on the 33...Today is only the 21st.
That's the problem though, that's what most people do. They seem to believe that 'deadline' equates 'turn in date'. This isn't true in the slightest. It's so untrue, in fact, that several publishers have even been tagging the submission deadline with "Earlier submissions preferred".
So what is a deadline if its not the due date?
Think of a deadline like this; it is the marker for the point of no return. If you do not get your submission in their grasp by that time, you might as well move along sonny. The deadline should be treated as the last possible moment to submit; not THE moment to submit. If your manuscript is ready on the 21st, then by golly, send it in! It'll get you brownie points for one thing, not to mention if something unexpected happens that keeps you too busy on the 33rd, at least you'll know it's done. If you are having trouble meeting deadlines, no matter how much time and effort you put into a project, then you need to reorganize. But that is a post for a later date.
So kiddies, keep this mantra in your head "You should submit before it is due or it'll be dead".
~ D. F. Krieger