Mary May Larmoyeux

What difference does a deadline make?

dreamstime_stopwatchby Mary May Larmoyeux

Do you have good intentions about your writing? But do you always follow through on those intentions? I don’t.

Once I read something that has stuck with me for years:  A goal without a deadline is a dream.  I really like that. Maybe because I identify with that statement so much.

When I first wrote about capturing our family stories, I said that I’d jot down at least six times when God intervened in a family situation and write about at least one of those things.

I considered my story journey that week a success because I actually made a list of a dozen times when God intervened in my family’s life, and I actually wrote about one of those things.

“When did you do that?” you might ask.

Well … right before writing this post. Although I finished at the last minute, I accomplished the goal. Why? Because I had a deadline: Finish before this post goes live.

Making and meeting a deadline truly is the difference between an idea and an elusive dream!

Here’s what a few people said about deadlines:

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” —Nolan Bushnell

“A deadline gets a writer’s work done better and faster than any inspiration, if only because inspirations don’t always come, but the deadline is always there.” —A.A. Patawaran

And my favorite:

“I don’t need time, I need a deadline.”  — Duke Ellington

Story Journey Challenge:  I asked fellow StoryWriting Studio blogger Karen Jordan for some suggestions for writing family stories. “I’d encourage you to focus on your blessings,” she said, noting that some people are writing down a blessing a day on their social media networks this month.  “It really doesn’t matter where (or how) you begin to count your blessings,” she said, “but that’s always a great place to start telling the stories that matter most.”

So, how about carving out time this week to count your blessings? You may want to do this on Thanksgiving Day, or perhaps you’d rather brainstorm beforehand with friends and family about the blessings you’ve received this year. Karen is so right about counting blessings being a great way to find the stories that mean the most.

And you might just want to write a story about one of those blessings, and give yourself a deadline.

Post © 2013, 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Geoarts |

How to begin to tell your personal stories

Stories Shape History

Writing a Memoir?

The good ole days

8 Thanksgiving Promises

The Grandparent ConnectionPhoto and post copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Visit Mary at She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.


13 thoughts on “What difference does a deadline make?”

  1. Hi: I just discovered your blog and I’m fascinated. I’m not a writer it was my dream a long time ago but it was shuttered when someone make fun of my writing. I loved to read and english is my second language so my grammar is not perfect. Your message was very inspiring so thank you for that.


  2. Common problem, Karen! If I didn’t set deadlines I wouldn’t accomplish much. This is a true story: One of the kids needed something sewed when he was little. Well, I truly had planned on mending it. But by the time I did, he had outgrown it.


  3. Oh, no … you’re hitting me where it hurts, Mary! But thanks again for this reminder. I’ve got a lot of dreams that I haven’t put deadlines on. Honestly, that’s a tough one for me, especially when the deadline doesn’t involved anyone but me. So, I can use some help on that subject. Keep writing!


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