Saturday, November 24, 2007

Working with a new deadline

For several weeks now I've been telling myself to get about four articles ready for submission in December. I knew my editor at the Womanwise Magazine would want to get a head start on the content and layout so she won't miss a beat with the Christmas holidays.

So where am I with that? Nowhere near the accomplishment of that goal, for sure.

Her email, of course, landed in my inbox late yesterday evening. Oh Oh!

At first, the panic flared. But after a few, all right, quite a few deep, cleansing and calming breaths, my heart stopped racing. There really was no need to panic.

I was way ahead. In fact, much further along than she might have imagined. The most difficult thing to do now is to target the pieces I will work on to submit by December 11th.

She requested that by that date I send in four pieces including the one to be published the first Sunday in January.

The lowdown:

I'm still idling with my submission that's due Monday morning and by God's grace I can finish it today, let it rest, edit it tomorrow and email it Sunday night.

The plan:

Complete and send in by Thursday 29th. the three pieces that fall outside of the new deadline.

Select four topics and work like a real writer is supposed to - write, write, write, re-read, edit, edit, edit, re-write,re-write, rewrite.

Know something? I'm looking forward to the rush. Usually, I write at a very leisurely pace. However, whenever I have to produce work in a hurry the adrenaline kicks in big time and I shift into high productivity gear. I find the rush quite stimulating and it always sparks a level of inspiration, discipline and productivity that I find lacking in my normal routine of set deadlines.

In fact, every now and then I roll a topic around in my brain for days and the day before the submission deadline I plant my behind in my chair and write.

After I hit the send button, I breathe a sigh of relief even as I savor the satisfied feeling of completing a task under pressure. That kind of self-imposed pressure comes in handy whenever my days begin to feel too similar and uneventful. Other times it comes from without. Not nice. But after the initial apprehension and fear that I won't make it, I slip into high gear, do the work and enjoy the process. And you know me, I'm all about the process.

So here's to snap deadlines and the chance to write about the topics that I'm passionate about. That's what it's all about isn't it? Doing the work you love and enjoying it immensely.

I wouldn't want it any other way. No way.

I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of enjoyable, feverish work. And guess what, I've given myself a new deadline. I'm going for December 8th instead.

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