So here we are, three weeks in, and so far I have posted something every day. I have to say, it feels really good, but at the same time it's been tough. Because writing is never easy, and even though I write at my best when I'm writing to a deadline, that can be, at the same time, both exhilarating and terrifying.
I am a bundle of nerves when I'm on deadline. I fidget. I tap my feet and shake my legs and drum my fingers and play with my hair. (There may also be the occasional air drum solo thrown in, but that's just between you and me, 'kay?)
But it seems that for me, there is no alternative. As much as I'd like to prepare an editorial calendar for this blog and stick to it, I just don't think I can corral my thoughts in that fashion. I'm never completely sure until the day just what I want to talk about, and I want to be able to react to news stories as they are happening.
It is simply in my nature to write at the last minute. As hard as I try to write ahead of deadline, I just can't. It's like the synapses in my brain won't connect until juuuuuust the right moment. Sometimes, the right moment is just a bit too close to deadline for my liking, but that's just the way it is.
I recently read a quote about writing that made me nod and shout out a "hell yeah!" in agreement. In her memoir entitled Still Writing, The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, Dani Shapiro says, "The writing life isn’t just filled with predictable uncertainties but with the awareness that we are always starting over again."
Oh, yes, yes, yes. It is the starting over (and over, and over), that can really mess with your mind. For every time that we polish and hone and publish one word-filled page, there is another ominous blank one lurking just behind it, taunting us with its emptiness. It's enough to drive one a little cuckoo.
For me, that's the way it's always been, and I suspect, the way it will always be. I never really know whether or not the words will come, and sometimes it feels like I've used them all up. But then, somehow, the world turns and my thoughts shift and the words begin to flow. Until the next day, when once again I stare at the blank screen... and start all over again.
So, fellow bloggers. Do YOU write to deadline, or are you one of those mystical beings who can write ahead of schedule? Let me know in the comments.