Tag Archives: articles

The inconvenience of deadlines

I am getting ready to fly to Boston on Wednesday for a Creative Writing masters program residency at Goddard College, and boy is my plate full!  I have to finish editing part of a manuscript for a “hopeful” book, write two articles for a newspaper and a magazine, knock out a press release, pack and find time to sleep.  While I seriously appreciate the work, these current deadlines are most inconvenient!

So, what do you do when you are running out of time, but have immediate deadlines to meet?  Perhaps making a 1,2, 3 list would be a good idea.  You know the deal. It might look something like this:

  1. Wake-up
  2. Coffee
  3. Take a walk (fresh air always stimulates my mind)
  4. Make a protein shake (protein is good for the brain)
  5. Shower (I cannot work dirty and/or sweaty)
  6. Organize your desk
  7. Organize your notes
  8. Start writing (the process could vary)
  9. Lunch (don’t skip meals, it’s unhealthy)
  10. Back to the grind
  11. Break (take another mini-walk or mini-nap… it can be very rejuvenating)
  12. More coffee
  13. Write
  14. Write
  15. Write
  16. Keep writing

You get the picture… However, sometimes even with the best intentions and organizational skills, it doesn’t play out that way. So far, my day has gone something like this:

  1. Woke up at 4:30 (tossing and turning)
  2. Fell back to sleep around 6 am
  3. Rose at 8 (an hour later than usual)
  4. Got a phone call, then dealt with a rodent of unusual size
  5. Decided to shower
  6. Forgot to make coffee
  7. Drank a protein shake
  8. Made some green tea
  9. Noticed it was 11:20 am, and began to panic.
  10. 11:40 another phone call
  11. 12:14 someone befriended me on Facebook
  12. 12:30 ate lunch
  13. etc., etc.

By the time 3:00 rolled around (it’s now 4:14), I had still not done much of anything.

So, even with the best intentions, and plans for the most productive and organized day, we are subject to interruptions of all kinds and sometimes–just sometimes…it’s inconvenient to have deadlines!  🙂

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Lemons and tequila: With or without salt

Well, so far this has been an eventful day.

Last month I had a woman contact me from _______ who is starting a luxury magazine for the elite. She wanted to have me write articles for her, yada ya. When the conversation moved to payment, she informed me that this is a non-paying writing gig, because (“don’t you know”) it is an honor to be in this magazine, and the exposure alone is like me having free advertising.  EXCUSE ME?

So we continued to talk, and of course I shared that I am not accustomed to writing for free.  She groveled a bit, but still asked to see some writing samples. Rather hesitantly, I sent the samples the moment we hung up.  I NEVER heard back from her until yesterday, when she called wanting to know why she never heard back from me (how odd) and she said, “Well, did you want to be in the magazine or not, because we have to get that article in so it can go to press.” HUH?

Yes, writer’s work for free… NOT.

Not hours later, I got another email from a potential client who contacted me about 3 weeks ago to write a press release for him.  He went so far to send me all the pertinent information, etc., and then stipulated that this would not be needed until some time in August.  Okay, this is not rocket science… I can do this.

The saga continued…

In his email he relayed that he now needs it by the end of the month, and wondered if it is near completion.  EXCUSE ME?  When did we ever decide on this?  When did we ever talk $$$? I had no clue I was on the project.  So, I wrote him back saying, “Normally I require a 50% deposit and the remainder to be paid when the project is completed.”  His response was staggering.  “I’m on a really tight budget… can we do it for 100 bucks and you get paid when it’s finished? Oh, and thanks.  I appreciate the rush.”  WOW!

So, the moral of the story is: When life hands you lemons, grab some tequila and salt and call it a day.



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