Working Under a Deadline

When I was in college, I would delay, procrastinate, and put off what I needed to get done until the very last minute–usually at the end of the semester. “Finals Week” for me was a collection of empty 12-oz. diet soda cans and a haze of chain-smoked cigarettes. (For the record:  I have long since stopped indulging in both of the aforementioned vices.)

While many would disdain the idea of waiting until the last minute, I got a bit of a high from it; though looking back now, it might have been the caffeine and nicotine.

Even today, when faced with deadlines, I tend to push them to the very edge before getting the work done. I’ll know what exactly needs to get done, but I’ll delay. Over the years, I have convinced myself that this is the best way for me to accomplish  my tasks. In fact, the mere thinking about the task–I believe–is an essential piece of getting the work done.

I’m entering a contest today to be selected to work with an editor on one of my manuscripts. If selected, I’ll be able to refine and tone up MY PLUS ONE with a professional editor. Thereafter, there is a “Literary Agent” round where the much improved manuscript gets in front of selected LAs for consideration. The submission deadline is noon today and I’m almost done perfecting (to the best of my capacity) my submission.

The stress from the pressure of the looming deadline is dizzying.

And while I would never endorse this put-it-off-until-your-head-will-explode practice for my children and their schoolwork, I will certainly tell them all about how I “got through” college using this technique when I say good bye to each of them on the front steps of their respective dormitories.

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Maybe for old time’s sake, I’ll hand off a case of soda and a carton of smokes. Probably not though.


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