Friday, December 19, 2008


Maybe you're like me. Maybe you prefer creative spirit to concrete requirements.

One of my favorite quotes by a writer is from Douglas Adams:

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

Great quote but the reality is that I dislike deadlines intensely. The sound I'm more likely to hear is the hammering of the pulse in my right temple as a deadline creeps closer and closer and I'm still waiting for someone to return a call and say something intelligent that I can quote in the article!


I'm happy to say I haven't missed a deadline yet (except once and I had permission that time) but let me be frank - the day before a deadline I'd rather trade my job for a couple of sugar-jacked twin toddlers that hadn't napped in a week.

Then I meet the deadline and the cheque comes and I love my job again.

And in a moment of perfect honesty, I might even admit that freelance has been very good for me. I've learned to juggle deadlines and plan ahead and develop a sense of organization and even earn an income as a writer and artist. Let's face it, the projects that I don't have a deadline for are still sitting in random stacks of incompleteness all over my studio. It's become a life-long project to illustrate my next picture book. The novel? Well...

It took me almost two years to paint a seven-foot length of hallway. (Okay, it's really only finished because my father-in-law got bored on his last visit.) One of my kids' baby quilts is still on the frames and I'm now hoping to have it done before they leave for college. (My mother quilted the one they actually used.) And it takes a visit from relatives to really get the house clean. (It's part of the reason they're always welcome.)

So I guess I have learned a couple things. One is that I need deadlines to accomplish my goals. Two is to really appreciate my family.

So I'm assigning "project deadlines" in my calendar for the coming year. And I'm hoping my family can visit more often.

Come on over, guys...just give me a few days to clean up.

No comments: