Deadlines! Oh the dreaded deadline. On the one hand, I adore deadlines. They force me to get things done. They inspire motivation and also a little fear, but mostly motivation.
As a writer, I have become friends with the deadline. Whether it is the first draft or the fifth, I’ve learned the hard way that if I veer off target, the wheels come off with exceptional force and velocity. So I plan with my editor and I set a deadline for every project.
Then, the strangest thing happens. The deadlines morph into something real. As soon as a deadline is set, life is breathed into them. They transform into a bossy two year old, demanding to have their own way. So I hunker down and I write and I edit and do everything in my power to meet those demanding deadlines.
Like a crazed woman in search of a mystical answer, I strive toward the deadline. The house turns into something much less than tidy. The grocery list grows and eventually someone more capable of actually buying the groceries gets it done. And sleep, well sleep is a mystery all its own.
Then just as the light at the end of the tunnel sends up a glimmer, the technical glitch comes along. Perfectly timed and waiting to pounce. My love hate relationship with technology is one I try desperately to down play. I am unwilling to give it the power it craves. Just as I think I have the two year old deadline under control, the four year old technical glitch shows up asking me to have all the answers for everything under the sun.
For instance did you know in order to embed a soundtrack into a PowerPoint presentation, your music file must be in a .wav and not the typical mp3 file? Nope, I sure didn’t until today anyway. The icing on the cake… the recipient of my PowerPoint email still can’t hear the music on their end.
After spending countless hours on a project due first thing Wednesday morning, my frustration grows. On top of that, the manuscript due to my editor is well, due. I was certain I would come away from the computer with patches of hair missing, pulled out by my own two hands.
Instead, I took a break. I stepped away from the computer I was about ready to heave out the front door and found my happy place in the quiet of meditation. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all and sometimes a deadline just has to be pushed back against. Here is what I learned about deadlines and technical glitches.
- Setting a deadline equates to having a goal that you are working towards.
- Not all deadlines will be met. But all deadlines are goals worthy of having.
- Taking a break and stilling your mind, will do wonders for your perspective when you are under the pressure of a deadline.
- Stories have their own timeline of creation. Build in buffer room to allow for the creative process.
- Editing is not something you can or should rush.
- Be honest. If you can’t make the deadline let the other person know as early as possible.
- There is never a good time for a technical glitch.
- Deadlines and technical glitches are like oil and water, they don’t mix. As soon as I learn how to clean that up, I will apply the lesson to this scenario too.
- Yelling at the computer screen does little to solve the problem and has the tendency to make you appear crazed.
- You can google almost any computer glitch and somebody will have googled it before you and also found a solution. Reassurance, you are not alone.
- A technical glitch is most likely to appear when 1) your husband is away, 2) your IT department is unavailable, and 3) your own web host crashes and there is nothing you can do about any of it.
This post is arriving to you well after its usually scheduled time due to the above issues. I apologize for its delay and hope you had a Mindful Monday all your own. Me, I’m going to bed now so I can wake up to a Terrific Tuesday!