I’ve never been a big fan of deadlines –and it’s probably because the word starts with “dead” which isn’t exactly pleasant I guess (kinda like “die” in diet). Yessiree, deadlines have always been a big problem for me, especially when it came to school science projects. As an admitted lifetime chronic procrastinator, I would always wait until the absolute final day to decide what I would make, buy the necessary materials, and build some hideous structure that was supposed to be a model of the Milky Way, but looked more like a Baby Ruth; full of bizarre bumps and grooves that weren’t exactly supposed to be there. I guess deadlines are important though. Without them we would all just spend our time wandering around Michael’s aimlessly browsing the craft aisles picking up spools of colorful yarn, stencils, glue sticks, beads, molding clay, pipe cleaners, and tiny canisters of glitter and with no real goal to achieve.
Time is endless –until a deadline is imposed. Suddenly, the deadline is all that exists; sitting there, looming, watching, waiting (much like that creepy stack of money from Geico.) You don’t even care what happens after the deadline, getting there is all that matters. I suppose that’s how it got its name. Most of us will all but kill ourselves to make a deadline, and the struggle is enough to send us to an early grave.
I think of that manic scene in “Broadcast News” when a segment producer (Joan Cusack) makes a mad dash to deliver a tape to the main control room. With just precious minutes to go, she crashes into a man, a trash can, a library cart, slides underneath a filing cabinet drawer, leaps over people, and smashes into a water cooler. Refusing to be defeated, she limps to the control booth, up a flight of stairs, and with mere seconds left, delivers the tape and makes it to air. Whew, talk about a deadline! Come to think if it, that’s basically my life everyday, filled with an endless stream of crucial deadlines which all have to be met –do or die. I might as well hang a giant digital stopwatch around my neck ala Flava Flav. Gotta make it to work before airtime, rush back home in time to pick up my son from school, review homework, get dinner on the table before my husband gets home from work (well at least warm up the Chinese takeout) and do bath time and bedtime all before 9:00pm flashes overhead. Cue loud ringing buzzer.
As much as I hate deadlines though, I don’t think I would have written a book without one. It turns out I work well under pressure. (My agent would definitely agree with that). Hence this blog is hot off the presses. I’m pressing SEND…. right……now.