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Are Deadlines Stifling Your Creativity? by Rochelle Melander

February 16, 2016


Note From Rochelle


Dear Writers,


Every week, I hear from another writer who is frustrated or blocked. When they do not write, they see it as a personal failure. I’ve been there, too. But in my experience as a writer, teacher, and coach—I’ve learned that writer’s block is simply information. With the right questions, you can learn how to move forward.

For the next month, I’m setting aside Mondays to coach new clients. If you’re struggling with writer’s block, set up a complimentary consultation.

Today’s tip tackles a common question: do deadlines help or hinder creativity?

Happy Writing!

Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach



Are Deadlines Stifling YourCreativity?



As a writing coach, I talk a lot about the value of deadlines. Whether real or self-created, deadlines help us finish projects. In addition, some writers vow that working towards a deadline increases their creativity.


But not everyone agrees. Recently, a reader sent me this comment:


deadlines kill creativity.


Turns out, the reader has a point. Deadlines can be an obstacle to creativity. According to a study by Teresa Amabile, when workers could avoid common obstacles to creativity, they were more imaginative. The obstacles to avoid include:

  • Time pressure
  • Political problems
  • Harsh criticism of ideas
  • Emphasis on the status quo


In addition, workers thrived with the following stimulants to creativity:

  • Freedom
  • Positive challenge
  • Sufficient resources
  • Encouragement from supervisors and colleagues
  • Sense of purpose

The takeaway?

Deadlines might help us finish projects. But we need time for our creativity to flourish.

The solution is simple. Give yourself time to write.

Try this: Set aside ample writing time each week to write.

Pro Tip: If you have a deadline, you will need to build extra time into your writing schedule. That will help you be creative and meet your deadline.
Writers, with extra writing time this week you can:

Play with words. Get lost in the work. Write for the joy of writing.



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