Cue the famous movie guy voice: “In a world where writers are dependent on electricity and an Internet connection, panic is but one storm away…”
I’ve been without Internet and VOIP service for two days now and I’m beginning to get the shakes. We experienced the remnants of Hurricane Ike here in Central Ohio and while I was expecting a little rain, we got instead Ohio’s own version of a Category 1 hurricane – crazy winds and lots of trees falling all over.
Which brings me to today’s topic: giving yourself enough lead time to let your articles marinate, because not doing so could be a recipe for disaster. Right now I’m in the just re-opened local library on their very generous Wi-Fi signal, however, I can’t use my cell phone to conduct interviews without incessant shushing and dirty looks. Luckily, most of my interviews for articles going in this week are complete and I can focus on tweaking and editing as opposed to holing up in my car for hours with a cell phone on one side and a laptop balanced on the other – that was last winter, but I digress.
How many of you would be in a dicey situation right now if you were in my shoes? What items do you have due that if power went out in your city right now, you’d seriously consider shimming up the utility pole yourself?
A lot of us work well under pressure, we can pull out a rabbit out of our hats if needed and get the assignment in under deadline, but how much stress are we putting on ourselves?
After many close calls and hair pulling episodes, I’ve submitted to the rule of thumb that setting your own deadlines – well before the item is actually due is better for my hairstyle and me. Articles are like great barbeque or spaghetti, they are always better after they’ve been given time to breathe and soak up the rich seasoning. Revisiting a completed article after time away gives you new insight to edits and corrections and an appreciation for your own genius.
So are you a slow roaster, slowly cultivating a great article or a deep fryer – quick cooking writing goodness?