Pickles, Jam and Relish by Eileen Magee
Another Word or two from Eileen Magee—still practicing to be a 'Famous' Author—in between cups of tea.
I happened to have a conversation the other day about pickles, jam and relish.A little later, I was thinking about deadlines.Somehow, the two melded together and my mind was off on a tangent…
Here's where the tangent took me…
Deadlines can either throw you into a panicked pickle or they're something that you relish. As always, there's also the inevitable issue of just when you've got some sort of grip on your pickle, or even if you're relishing the deadline challenge, at some point, a pot of jam is thrown all over your work, your keyboard, or your life in general and things become rather sticky…and so we're back to the pickle and relish situation. Sound familiar?
If you're one to get yourself in a pickle over deadlines—frantically flustered and somewhat disorganised—well, you know what you need to do. Yes, that's right. Make a plan. Get organised and committed. It's the only way forward. Above all, stop panicking, that only makes matters worse.
For those who relish a deadline…what can I say, other than to remind the rest of us that deadlines provide us with motivation, direction, and a challenge to meet. Although, those who do relish deadlines may yet have some wiggle room for improvement on their methods. While many are prone to make a plan to work to, others simply 'wing it', and others still, work until they drop in order to meet said deadline.
Sometimes a deadline is months away and we can kid ourselves that we have plenty of time. We had at the beginning of the deadline of course, but it pays to get an early start, and also to have a contingency plan in place.Inevitably, something goes wrong (the jam situation)—if not with your writing or illustrations, then in some other area of your life that might require you to down tools and request an extension to your project deadline date—which isn't always possible due to other deadlines within the overall project relying on you meeting yours.
I refer you to a previous blog of mine Stop Faffing About which might be helpful in reminding you of those plans you had, those great ideas to stop faffing about and get on with your writing—or it might prompt you to set a routine or a plan to meet those looming deadlines.
Once again, as in my other blog posts, I'm not telling you anything new, but reading the obvious, sometimes assists in rejuvenating ones motivation. We all know the folly of good intentions that come to nought. Good intentions not realised only make for a mountain of regret and if you're a consistent offender, even if it's only you who's aware, you become a 'Gonna-person', as in 'I'm gonna do this…' and 'I'm gonna do that…'and never actually get round to doing any of them.
So, if you find yourself in a pickle over a deadline, stop, breath, and have a cuppa…then take the time to make a plan of attack for the deadline. Allow time and contingency in your plan for the jam sandwich to unexpectedly splat itself into your day.
For those who relish a challenge and seem to repeatedly be able to carry everything off smoothly—if you have any words of wisdom in this regard, would you be so kind as to leave a couple of them in the comment box below to aid those of us consumed by pickles and/or jam.
Thanking you in advance.
Eileen...love you analogy to pickles and relish...and the splatter of a jarful of sticky jam! All good advice... My suggestion is also to have a Write Recipe to keep you focussed. For example, whenever I start to procrastinate, I go through a set ritual that forces me to sit down and WRITE. This includes: One brisk walking of dog early,Oner instant cup of coffee (possibly followed by another), One large glass of water, No peeking at Facebook or any other stuff online, Sit in study chair by 9.a.m., Write, even if total rubbish until at least noon. Oh, and No mobile phone within reach.
Doesn't always work, but the 'Write Recipe' makes a tasty relish most of the time. Unless a jar of jam lands with a thud. Thank you for a lovely blog!