I Do My Best Work Under Pressure Of Deadline

See, the problem with not having a day job (I know... I didn't think there'd be any either) is that it becomes very easy to get very little done. Throw in a new laptop and a new-found website like EP, toss in some facebook and you have a recipe for, well, a lot of things... chicken cordon bleu and sweet creamed corn pudding have been favorites I've found on-line so far. Somehow, I start my days with good intentions; the routine ticking right along with the clock. Cat, coffee, dog, unmentionables, start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, water the garden, then clothes in the dryer. I can knock that out in the first hour of my day easily. My days start at no particular set time... just whenever I wake up and the cat finally won't let me go back to sleep.

The other morning, though, somehow I again managed to work on my book till 6:30 in the morning. I realized that the fairly agitating, and persistently so sounds interrupting my thoughts were the early birds, and that meant that my son had overslept for work,; because I hadn't yet heard whatever equally annoying noise his alarm clock makes. (He does have a day job. He is far too young to let him off the hook just because Grandma died. I want him to learn self-discipline, which is the antonym of procrastination, since I'm such an expert on this subject.)

What, you say? She doesn't like birds? What kind of a cold-hearted callous person doesn't like birds? I love birds. Please don't misinterpret the aforementioned. I just don't like ANY noise in the background when I'm writing, and especially when I've pulled an 'all-nighter-and-I-probably-forgot-to-eat' writing session on one particular book. That book is hard to work on. It hurts my soul to work on that one; or heals it, I'm still not sure which. But the topic is a difficult one for me, and I've spent twelve years procrastinating on its finish. For years, I could argue that there still wasn't an end to the story. That was a few years ago.

But the whole reason I moved here from the city was to be able to live in tranquility; peace and quiet; to finish writing my books. And after roughly sixteen hours and two packs of smokes later, plus too much coffee, I do not find the repetitive TWEET-tweet of that one little sucker charming. I find it distracting; agitating; annoying. Now, after I've had some sleep? I can appreciate the beauty of those birds and all that surrounds me. But not while I'm writing.

It's why I write at night, after all. When the rest of the world is sleeping kinda thing. It's a given my phone won't ring. Even the dog's asleep. When I took care of Mom for two years, we were still in the city, and close enough to the interstate that it's hum was always present. Dallas is a big city that never sleeps, after all. So are it's suburbs. But being suddenly home-bound with her, and feeling suddenly somewhat elderly myself, and most certain that I would go senile before Mom ever did if I didn't start writing again (it's a curse... you wouldn't understand. Yes you would. You're on EP too), I thought, "No time like the present to finish my book." That was not a realistic goal with Mom, bless her heart. Our rooms were side by side so that I could keep an eye and ear on her, and whenever she'd hear that keyboard, she'd burst into the room with, "What are you writing?" "What's it about?" I, as a writer, hate that question. Seriously? I type 120 wpm, and I probably talk even faster. And if I could "tell you what it was about" in any kind of paraphrased short form? I wouldn't be writing a book.

But as I'd tell Mom, if you hear that keyboard (and there's no way you can't... the neighbors in the adjoining townhome could hear it), please, unless it's really important? Don't interrupt my thoughts. That would generally last for three to five minutes. On a good day. I certainly didn't want to neglect her needs, but let's face it, we had absolutely nothing going on in our lives besides the occasional trip to one of five doctors, physical therapy three times a week, her church, and nosey neighbors to keep us occupied. I needed my down time! My writing time.

So I tried a different approach with Mom. I wanted to truly emphasize how important this was to me, and truly not bite her head off at the same time. So I told her, "Unless there's blood or fire involved... please do not interrupt me when I'm writing." It was to no avail. I gave it up shortly thereafter. Again. You see why it's taken me twelve years, no? I had to have my sleep back then, too. Now I can wing it. And I hadn't found EP yet, which is what I use to 'down-time write', to prevent writer's block and keep those wheels spinning. To 'keep my juices flowing' and my typing speed up. I wish I could type as fast as I think. But since I can't, I need quiet to write.

Dripping faucets? Ticking clocks? The television? Not that I have television. There is no 'cable guy' out here. I live so far out in the sticks, it was a miracle (and took a small fortune and several months) to even get electricity out here. There IS no such thing as cable t.v. this far out. Sure, I could get satellite, but even my cell signal is weather-dependent. And, I made a pact with myself that I would not waste time in front of the idiot box until the books were done, and I can get my news and weather from the Internet, after all. Even though Verizon's wifi map shows they don't have coverage out here? They do. I often wonder how much stuff I'd get done if they didn't. Often wonder....about a lot of things. Between that and my love of knowledge and reading, I find ways to do things much more enlightening than filing.

But without any pressure of deadline, like a time clock to punch, or a daily agenda, I will admit the To-Do List is getting longer every day. And some of it's gotten delegated to people who need work around here, which has allowed me to procrastinate even more. Granted, I do have somewhat of a legitimate excuse in that I was very sick last year from pesticide poisoning, which has left me with some damaged organs, and that has left me with very little energy. I can pull the "I Need A Nap" card anytime I, well, need a nap. But still, that was last year. And the book is still not finished, and my house is still not completely unpacked. I joked last winter that I planned to gift wrap the moving boxes in the living room and stick a tree in the middle of them... at least that way they'd look like they belonged in there. We also thought about arranging them into additional seating at one point.

But, lo and behold, one day, a friend called and said she needed to get away for a couple of days, and would I mind sharing my paradise for the weekend. And that she hoped not, because she was already on her way. It's a tiny bit of a drive from here to there, a couple of hours. And THAT, the fear of witnesses to the tangible displays of my procrastination, was all the motivator I needed. In two hours time, I had the dishes done, the bathrooms cleaned, the laundry put away, floors mopped, all those boxes unpacked, and the last of the art work hung on the walls. It looked like Martha Stewart had stopped by, and we'd shared some cocaine. Now, how WAS it something I'd spent six months putting off, took two hours to finish? Because. I do my best work under pressure of deadline.
texastomgirl texastomgirl
41-45, F
2 Responses May 10, 2012

You remind me of someone that was very dear to me. I guess is would be the appropriate word. I just think you really have a super energy about you that radiates through your writing. Glad I stumbled onto your story.

Thank you sweetie...

Very Funny. Thanks.<br />