I’ve been pushing for the past three weeks to complete a revise-and-resubmit from a year ago. Yeah, I know. I suck. In the end, though, the R&R turned out to be more like “totally rework the damn thing from stem to stern”–including rejiggering it into an unfamiliar online format– which led some of the ugly truths about my writing process to hit me full in the face.
1) Every project will take me 7-10 days longer than I estimate.
2) I tend to regard deadlines as flexible. This is a mistake for many reasons, the least of which is: see above.
3) The last few days of a writing project are akin to binge drinking: I eat badly, I don’t sleep, I walk around in an anxious, semi-coherent daze.
4) I become more of a self-absorbed asshole than usual. Can’t be buggered to answer emails or talk to anyone other than my keyboard.
5) In such moments of crisis, I write good stuff.
6) In such moments of crisis, I write complete and utter dreck.
7) Only reading my stuff out loud helps me even it off to some sort of workable middle ground.
8) I will never be pleased with the final product.
9) ..except in the first two minutes after submitting it to the journal, during which I think I’m a genius.
10) After which, all I can see, whether I wish to or not, is all that is wrong with the piece.
11) Depression and self-flagellation ensue, as does singing along loudly to mushy George Michael songs.
12) And then I think, how lucky I am to have the chance to write about this stuff, stuff that I care about, that I think is interesting, that I’d love for other people to read.
13) Maybe one day they will.
Meanwhile, back to the diss.