I have a book due today. In an ideal world, I’d have spent yesterday working through the last of my hard copy edits. Of course, in an ideal world jr. wouldn’t have come home from school spiking a fever.
Granted, he’s a teenager so it isn’t like I need to be at his beck and call. But, you know how it is. If someone else is here, you just don’t get as much done. First he has to tell me his head hurts. He may be 17 but he’s never willing to get over-the-counter meds out without saying something to me first. Then his stomach was bugging him and that’s when we discovered the fever.
For better or worse, I tend to meet my deadlines without a whole lot of wiggle room. Of course, that’s because things like this seem to happen on a regular basis. When I was working on the Pearl Harbor book, I did hard copy edits on a clip board leaning against a wall in the emergency room while my dad slept. They finally diagnosed him with . . . I think it was pneumonia that time . . . and gave him a bed. But I edited at least two chapters with beeping and nurses bustling to and fro.
I try to have things ready to turn in the day before things are due, but that seldom seems to work out. In part, I think it is because I become much more productive and efficient as the deadline nears. What can I say? Monday, I did hard copy edits on 2 chapters and got everything changed on the computer. Yesterday, I did hard copy edits on the other 6 chapters and got 2 chapters worth changed on the computer. That means that today I have to type up the changes for four more chapters. I also have to edit and update the back matter and clean up the formating on the bibliography. It will probably take me about 3 hours.
This may not be the best method but it works for me. I think that I’ve missed one deadline in something like 20 years. Fingers crossed that as you read this, I’m attaching the file to an e-mail and sending it in!