This morning, I read an article in the New Yorker called "What Deadlines Do to Lifetimes". I already use one of the tricks, which sets an earlier fake deadline, in my legal/law motions practice.
But in the creative writing realm, like most, I struggle with them. I appreciate deadlines, they give me something to aim for, and trust, this was a very productive and on deadline kinda year.
For me, like most things, the key is communication. I always try to give myself a reasonable amount of time but if it takes a bit longer that's okay too, if and only if, you communicate that you need more time.
Yes, this can get hazy if your "more time" is 6 months, because creativity is often on its own timeframe. The reality is, I can't make a story happen, they come to me organically.
So while the long YA memoir took 15 years, that's how much time I needed to finish the project. Ultimately and ironically, I think what motivated me most was covid and an impending sense of doom about my own mortality.
Truth was, I wasn't gonna pass with a partial manuscript in a drawer.