Monday, February 19, 2007

Lessons

I learned two things about myself this weekend.

# 1 - At this stage in my life I do not write very well under a tight deadline. (And I consider 24 hours very tight.)

# 2 - I am physically incapable of submitting what I consider to be a piece of crap. Doesn’t matter if it’s to be critiqued and suggestions made as to improvements. If I don’t think it’s perfect (my idea of perfect), it’s not leaving this computer. I cannot bring myself to attach this (crappy) Word document and press Send.

I always made the deadline when I wrote a column for a local newspaper — but then I only had to write about 400 words each week.

And when I worked at a full-time job in the “real world” (how else should I put that?) I also managed to reach deadlines or at least work within time constraints. It was that or be fired. Money’s a great motivator.

As for writing under pressure now? Not so good.

This freelance-working-at-my-own pace-thing has spoiled me rotten. I’m shocked and dismayed. (Well, not totally…)


So that’s it. No more banging my head at the computer keyboard. I’m going to enjoy having my kids around for their Reading Week.

Those course deadlines can just wait.

(Uh, no, they can’t, Beth…you’re just gonna miss ‘em.)


11 comments:

Trish said...

Isn't it great how we are never too old to learn things about ourselves? And the rules all change once we have kids anyways...the world won't miss us if we take time out to be with them.

Beth said...

trish: Priorities. It's all about priorities. And I made mine years ago. No regrets.

oreneta said...

Oooh, deadlines, not my favorite thing at the best of times...

I think it's kind of nice to have plenty of time, but sometimes the pressure to produce can move you into another headspace and get new things going that might you, or at least I, might not have managed otherwise.

Beth said...

oreneta: I agree. Pressure to produce can often push you to "higher" levels. But when producing means ignoring your kids (on one of the rare occasions they're home for awhile) I'm opting for not producing.

Nomad said...

Yes I am one of those who performs well under pressure (it can be a good thing) but gets VERY grumpy...

I love hearing how sure and clear you are...what a wonderful state of mind...

Why waste energy on regrets!!

Beth said...

I so agree with Nomad...no regrets! That is the way to live lilfe...who needs deadlines anyway? too much pressure.

Beth said...

nomad: I neglected to mention the "grumpy" factor. I would have become very grumpy had I tried to have quality time with the boys and write.

beth: No deadline, no regrets - much relief.

patricia said...

Tight deadlines for drawing I don't mind too much -- but a tight deadline for writing? That would be very painful.

Recently I have actually turned down a few illustrating jobs when the workload was really heavy, and even after the workload died down, because I really wanted and needed the downtime. You gotta do what's right for you!

Hope you had a great guilt-free weekend!

Beth said...

patricia: I actually thought of you while I was kvetching about deadlines 'cause I know you work with them all the time. Glad to hear you give them the old-heave-ho once in a while.
I'm not with the boys every minute of the day, but I'm having fun with them when we are together - and not fretting about anything else!

Dorky Dad said...

Way to set priorities. I used to work in a newspaper and always had daily deadlines. I did fine with them but now that I don't have said deadlines my life is much easier.

Beth said...

dorky dad:
No deadlines = less stress and more family time.
(Also makes for a "nicer" Beth.)