Sunday, February 3, 2008

A resolution

Hmmm, how to put this without being needlessly and inappropriately self-revelatory...

(On second thoughts, I don't know that there's any way around it, sorry!)

Ironically I was speaking on Friday afternoon on the theme of how to finish dissertation chapters and dissertations. Ironically, because I had a Jan. 31 deadline that I have been in full awareness this last few weeks of impendingly missing!

I did miss it, and I did predictably go into instantaneous tailspin when my editor e-mailed this afternoon to ask where it was and remind me that the due date was substantively related to the goal of getting the book out in time for my field's annual conference in December.

Tailspin of guilt and self-reproach and general agitation!

However on thinking about it I had a great revelation.

I do not believe in complaining about things that are my own responsibility and that come fairly directly as a consequence of decisions I've made. I signed the book contract, I have made subsequent commitments on deadlines and I have also made judgments about what to prioritize that entailed missing deadlines.

If I am grown-up enough to make responsible decisions that nonetheless entail missing deadlines, I need to become grown-up enough to deal with the stress I experience in the wake of a missed deadline.

This is important...

I hereby make a commitment to myself that I will send that book out by Monday, Feb. 18 if it is humanly possible. By hook or by crook!

But I also make a more important commitment to staying reasonably calm, whatever happens with the book-finishing schedule (and with other similar matters--with life in general, not just this month or next month but for the foreseeable future!). Because it is not good for anybody when I am in a state, and it happens too often for what are in the end non-consequential things!

Muddling through will be good enough...


Danielle in Iowa said...

So even though we are in practically polar opposite fields, I feel your pain currently. Now, I don't have a book to write, just a pesky dissertation proposal, but I missed pretty much every deadline I set for myself and then had to deal with the consequences. I don't know if editors are capable of the parently look of disapproval that advisors are :-)

Anyway, there have been lots of times where I have thought "I shouldn't be biking/swimming/running, I should be writing" but I decided this time around that I wasn't going to prioritize that stuff out of my life, deadlines be damned!

Okay, back to revisions!

Brent Buckner said...

Good enough counts!