Sunday, June 12, 2011

Last Minute Isn't For Me

Christy here and I'm snickering as I write the title of this post. Last Minute Isn't For Me...

It isn't? Then why am I writing my blog post the morning of its post. Anyway, go with me on this, okay?......

Thursday night I decided I would enter a contest.

Normally, that's not a problem. Especially if the number of required pages needed to enter the manuscript plus a synopsis is ready to go.

Did I mention the deadline was Friday, the following day, @ 10 pm?

I guess now is the time to confess I didn't have the required pages. I didn't have a good synopsis written and there was a lot going on Friday. The only thing I had going for me was that I was off of work. My daughter, the busy 6-year old, was at a daytime Vacation Bible School(Thank You God for Daytime VBS!)  The other important element I had was that my critique partner was off of work as well and able to give me feedback quickly and at the last minute. (Thank You Dianna!)

Never mind my 18month old spent the day swinging from ceiling fan to light fixture as I burned up the keys trying to get something solid together for my story. He kept crawling under the keyboard hitting the power cord button and turning everything off. Never mind I was in a panic by this time and swore our computer was not going to turn back on. (Thank God Wild Willie still takes naps.)

Despite the chaos of the day, somehow I pulled scenes together. I couldn't hit send fast enough to get the manuscript off to Dianna, it was late afternoon by this time.

In the meantime, I had to go to a church function, and my mom came down to visit. Once we returned from the function, my mom was my saving grace in that she kept the kiddos busy as I updated the manuscript with some suggestions Dianna made.

Luckily, I've been pretending to be a Plotter and had fleshed out where the story was going. I revised this for a synopsis. By this time it was well after 9pm... my brain was beginning its shut down mode, it was starting to smoke, literally, as my brain juice was depleting at a rapid rate.

No amount of Shaklee vitamins could help me now!

Hanging on by a thread of prayer, I plunged toward the finish line to get the synopsis completed, take one last glance at the manuscript before hurrying to the Paypal website to pay for my entry.

It's like 10:00pm by that time. Deadline Time.

I made it!!!

God help the judges who get my entry.

Lord help me when I get their opinion back. I may not be ready for what they have to say....

There is a point to this.... Are y'all still with me?

When I was in high school I could write a term paper on an all night writing fest. I could cram for a test and ace it the next day. In a couple of months, I'll receive feedback of my impromptu submission. I'm already cringing at the potential feedback, but I've got to keep my head up. I learned from this venture that I don't like to wait until the last minute to get things done. There is satisfaction in planning ahead and taking time in preparing something that has quality.

I suppose as you get older, doing things on the fly becomes harder. There is less pleasure in the last minute, unless it's a last minute trip to some tropical island... And if that includes an all inclusive resort hotel, well, I'd be all in for that!

What about you? Are you like me, as you got older, you changed the way you did things? or do you find yourself in the same slump in that you're rushing to get things done?  Does wisdom come with age?  Oh, and don't worry about posting your actual age... I'm still "pretending" to be 25 ;)


  1. Christy,
    I personally think you should write humor. It comes so naturally from your posts.
    And yay! on getting that entry off. And I know this story has been brewing so it's probably better than you are giving yourself credit for.
    Good luck!! And praise the Lord you were off work for the day! (And your critique partner was off work--Hmmm.. Sounds like God was up to something here!)

  2. LOL, thanks Lindi. You are a great encourager... Always seeing the bright side of everything.

    As I tell the folks that I work with (because I tend to get a tad sarcastic @ the 9-5 job) that I like to laugh about it all, or else I'll cry!

  3. LOL Christy!!! I did the same exact thing. I squeaked mine in my 9:30. Hear that? 9:30!!!!

    What was I thinking???

    But it all pays off in the end, right?

    Best of luck to you!!!


  4. Every year I enter an open call for artists...every year I leave it for the last minute and spend countless nights the week before getting it done....hmmmm wonder why they never accept it? Great post. Good Luck! Blessings, Joanne

  5. The end result is more important than the preparation....right?! Well, maybe not always, but it was great practice in setting and meeting a deadline despite life's rollar coaster pace. The silver lining to the cloud? You're that much closer to have a full entry for the next contest. ;)

    Perhaps you should've named the little boy in your story Wild Willie, then when he's older you can make sure you give him a copy and tell him all the character's antics was inspired by him. LOL.

  6. Wouldn't it be nice to do all that craziness and then get an extra day? I always wish for that when things get crazy :)
    Congratulations on getting your entry in and good luck!

  7. LOL, Tammy ~ Good luck to you too!

  8. Joanne, Why do we do this? There must be a reason for this madness. I can't say I'm more creative... what about you? Does your creativity peak under pressure?

  9. Dianna, I agree, it was good practice in meeting a deadline. But, goodness, it was stressful.

    Okay... and a little fun ;)

  10. Thank you Eva! And yes, I need an extra day!

  11. I still sometimes try to cram something in. I've been trying to not do that and I have gotten better about not doing it.

  12. Me too Rose! I feel better when I've planned ahead and am not last minute, but it's like a bad habit you can't get rid of. Do we need therapy? LOL :)

  13. I wish I was a little better at spreading out the work, but I'm often sprinting to the finish line. One thing I've found, and honor, about myself is that deadlines seem to make me more acutely aware in my thinking. I do better with deadlines than without. But I know when it's a false deadline and nothing will trick my brain into believing it's real. Ugh! The closer I get to the deadline, the more I'm pinpoint focused. I think I must have trained myself to work creatively this way over the years. Now I know it's the way I work best. But I've added doing the prep work in a more relaxed style. So research and interviews are done long before I sit down to actually write.

  14. Angie,
    That's interesting. I think sometimes I'm more creative when under the gun, but it stresses me out too much. :)
    And you're right, the preparation, in the research and interviews is extremely important!