Deadlines, bloody deadlines


Deadlines. Actually, I am a fan of the things. Tell me, “Just send it when you’re ready,” or “Get it to us as soon as possible,” and I will be in a  right royal flap. “What do they mean by ‘ready’? I wonder. “How soon is soon.” “What is possible?”

So give me a date. And whether it’s a writing deadline, grant application, job application or medical test, I will be there.

But what I love even better are deadline extensions. Not the ones I request… I think I have done it once… but those that are granted to me, based on the amount of work the person at the other end is anticipating. And their need for me to hold off on adding my project to their To Do list just yet.

deadlines-crushing-personI like to feel I am being helpful by holding out for a couple of extra weeks.

Which is the case right now.

I took time off work and had scheduled the next ten days down to the last minute. Much of which would be spent on tracking down photos, documenting them, making a spreadsheet of source info, downloading images, and marking up the MS. to indicate where they might go. I also had to do a number of revisions based on the highly useful and insightful notes sent to me by the sensitivity reader, a senior researcher with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness who spent the past three weeks with the manuscript. 

I could have done it. I was fully prepared to hit Send on the whole kit and caboodle on Dec 30 to meet the publisher’s Jan 1 deadline.

But it turns out I now have a couple of extra weeks to play with. Time to dawdle a bit. Plan an unanticipated move that is coming up mid-Jan. Play hooky over the holidays for a few hours. Catch up with a few friends I have overlooked for the past year. Read a book or two.

I can breathe a little easier. 

That for me is the best gift of the season so far .