Published by Peter B. Giblett,
I love to spend time using my creativity to write, yet of course being creative has to take second place when there are paying projects sitting on the desk awaiting completion. One this week required much research and reading time and meant that I was unable to let my creative juices flow (or so I thought).
Having lived with deadlines for the majority of my life I know that getting the problem resolved on time is vital, yet I have always preferred the deadlines that I have set rather than those set by others, yet both are clearly important because without meeting the deadline you do not get paid. The worst thing about deadlines is when problems occur that are outside of your control - on this occasion my challenge was an optical mouse that stopped working mid way through, well all I can say is that thank goodness laptops and the mouse-pads they have built into them (they may be tougher to use but at least they work).
Business is all about deadlines and to ignore them means that you are going to be poor for a long time because no-one will want to work with you. I have always thought it best to beat deadline dates and do so by as many days as possible, the importance of this is generally shown by the fact that you get repeat work when you deliver to schedule.
In writing creativeness has many possibilities, and it is in my view when finalising your work that you have an opportunity to apply the "spit and polish" and make your work really shine. Many people reason that they have edited their piece quite a few times already and that last inspection is not necessary, yet in my experience that last inspection reveals both opportunities to make the work shine and reveals a few little fixes that need to be made (and when you are writing for the web this is the time you also need to think specifically about the impact of SEO), indeed this can be a good creative time as you have to make changes fit the limited space available.
Arguably there is more pure enjoyment from something you have taken and crafted from scratch using your own ideas and needs, however just because someone else provides the writing topic does not mean that you cannot be just as creative, albeit fitting within their specific guidelines.
The report I just created had to analyse the findings of several other peoples work and identify the lessons that needed to be learned on behalf of my clients. I spent some time simply analysing these other reports, highlighting issues, and throwing quotes into Evernote in order to put together my rough notes, having done this it was clear there were some recurring themes and by re-organizing my notes the focus of my analysis started to become clear - a clarity I wished was present when I first started reading. I guess that is the point - the possibility of being creative even using other people's thoughts. Now it is complete and has been sent away, there is time to be creative on my own behalf (and replace that faulty pointing device).