What A Difference A Day Makes

It was bound to happen eventually, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be until much later in the year.  

To be honest, I was really hoping it wouldn’t happen at all, but I sort of assumed that it would happen eventually.

The “it” in question was a missed deadline.  As I have discussed quite a bit lately, I have a number of anthologies that I want to submit to this year.  I have all of these deadlines on a whiteboard.
1  

Today, one of those deadlines went flying by with a horrible sound.
2

There are benefits and drawbacks to the kind of writing schedule that I set for myself this year.  It is great that I have multiple projects lined up.  This greatly reduces the odds of me finishing something and then lying fallow while waiting to hear back from a publisher.  I simply don’t have the time to sit back if I am going to get the next project done on time.  It also keeps me focused, especially during time dedicated to writing.  I simply don’t have the time to screw around if I am going to get things done.

The disadvantage is that a little thing like the loss of a couple of days of productivity can mean throwing the schedule out of whack.  This is what happened this week.  I was on schedule
3 for a short story that I was working on for science fiction anthology.  I was sitting at the computer before work, sipping coffee.4  

Then Captain Tripps reared his ugly head.

I spent a day and half being violently ill.  I will spare you the details of this particular strain of Klingon Death Flu.  Suffice it to say it would be a great weight loss technique.  Over the span of two days I slept for about 29 hours.  I was either actively being sick
5 or sleeping.  I was so out of it I couldn’t focus on anything.  I couldn’t read.  I couldn’t focus enough to pay attention to an audiobook.  I couldn’t even make sense of the fail videos on YouTube.6

I certainly didn’t have the capacity to write anything.

This meant that between work and
The Mrs’ birthday, I had to crunch in two days worth of writing and editing, format the story, and submit it.  I had two options: rush it and force out something of questionable value or admit defeat.

Rather than send in something I wasn’t going to be proud of, I chose the latter option.

A lot of this has to do with pride.  I have gotten to the point that I do not want my name associated with something that I would not be proud to claim.  I don’t want editors see material that isn’t the absolute best that I can do.  I feel I owe it to any potential readers to make sure that I am not half-assing it when it comes to my writing.
7  

Plus, I owe it to the story itself to make sure that it gets polished nicely.  After a little floundering, I came up with a solid idea.  Unfortunately, the opening was weak.  It was passable as it was, but it was not what it should have been.

So I missed my chance to submit to that particular market.  Fortunately, it wasn’t something that I had already contracted to do, so I wasn’t letting down anyone other than myself.  To be fair, I didn’t even do that, as I have every intention of finishing the story and polishing it nicely.

I’d love to stay and talk about this some more, but I have another deadline that I have to meet.


1  But you’ve read all of this already.

2  A sound suspiciously like
this.

3  Or perhaps a smidge behind, but still in the “totally doable” range.

4  Much like I’m doing right now.

5  What?  Like you don’t watch them.

6  Yes, that kind of active.

7  Yep, I’m whole ass all the way.