Last night I received an email from Emily, the copy editor, reminding me I’d signed up to provide the blog post for Monday. Uh, oh. For some reason I never added the deadline to my calendar. I knew I’d signed up to provide the last blog post of the year, but thought I had another week. Another example of the 2020 time-warp. I promised her I’d have something to her before the end of the weekend.
So, here I am on Sunday morning trying to figure out what I’m going to do (short of actually writing a new post). I check Submittable hoping against hope that someone recently sent in a blog post. Wouldn’t that be awesome? No such luck. (Did you know we welcome guest bloggers? We’d love to hear from you. Click here for more information.)
Next, I check my blogs—reposting is permitted. (Good grief, has it really been that long since I last updated any of them?) Nothing there. Well, maybe buried somewhere in my files is a post I’ve never gotten around to publishing, or an unfinished essay in need of a quick polish. There must be something, anything, I can use to meet the assignment. What did I find? Irrelevant remnants of a pre-pandemic life.
It’s time to accept the fact that the only way I’m going to produce a blog post is to write one. No problem. It shouldn’t take long to whip up 500 or so words. I open a new Word document and look for inspiration through the window in my office. My Fitbit vibrates on my wrist to remind me I need to get out of this chair and get my steps in for the hour. Good idea. I do some of my best writing in my head while walking.
Back at my desk, still lacking inspiration, I stare out the window some more. The bird feeding stations are all busy, but their water is still frozen. I should go out and crack the ice. No, I remind myself, I need to focus on writing a blog post. About what? I don’t know. Most topics I can think of are laden with landmines—politics, pandemic, even the holiday season.
OK, I know, there are plenty of other topics, but none hold any interest—not enough for me to sink my teeth into. The real issue at hand (in my mind) is writing something the readers will enjoy. I remind myself that I can’t please everyone, but I still can’t commit to a topic. I’m feeling the (self-imposed) pressure.
I could just not update the blog for a week and publish something next Monday. But I can’t. It’s important to me to keep my word and meet my deadlines. This eleventh-hour scrambling is stressful. And not something I want to do again. I sent out the 2021 Q1 blog schedule earlier this morning (late, I know, that time-warp thing again . . .) and whatever dates I sign up for will immediately be added to my calendar along with reminders starting a month ahead of time.
Here’s hoping to no missed deadlines in 2021!
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