It may seem odd to be grateful for deadlines, but here I am —
It’s not easy to let go of your work. You fear that there are more flaws in it than not, and you worry that opening the door to letting someone see your work will also open it to criticism. It’s easier to hold on and tweak with it a little more. Go through and change all the dialogue tags to be “said” instead of something more potentially offensive. You look for how many times your characters have rolled their eyes. You rearrange semi-colons. You delete all the semi-colons, because how pretentious, and who do you think you are, anyway?
Trust me – deadlines save writers from themselves. Even though we all loathe them.
Deadline is a final word –
“She’s dead, Jim, cut the line.”
A word which tells me, “Pencils down.”
And lops off working time.
It tells a truth that’s underlined:
You’re done, leave off
You’re out of time.