The road to producing truly meaningful creative work is fraught with obstacles, some of which may feel like they’re out of your control. What if the money runs out, for example? Or the inspiration runs dry? What if the team isn’t cohesive? Or the work being created isn’t the work you feel in your heart? These are all valid concerns that can halt the process of bringing your creative vision to life. But you have to realize one thing: These things are in your control. Every single one of them. And perhaps the biggest obstacle to completing a creative project is the one that is most in your control: the time schedule.
Ever heard the phrase, “You can’t rush the process”? Well, it’s true to an extent. A rushed creative process will rarely do the work justice. But people use this phrase all the time as a cop-out for why, after four years, they still haven’t finished that book or screenplay they’re writing. “You can’t rush the process,” they insist. They think they’re giving credit to inspiration, recognizing that it comes when it comes. What they’re really saying, however, is that they lack discipline. They may even lack the passion it takes to finish a strong creative work to begin with.
I’ll say it once, in bold: Every creative process needs a time schedule. At first, people may think it’s frightening to put deadlines on their dreams—but then they realize that if those deadlines don’t exist, it’s likely the dream never will, either. When a team is involved in the creative process, it’s just as crucial that every member feels the importance of this timeline. In the end, slight deviation is probably inevitable. People get sick. They take vacations. But always having those dates to return to will guarantee that everyone works hard toward the goal on a constant basis—and that goal is the building of a dream. Is there anything more worth keeping to a schedule?