Monday, 10 September 2012

Deadlines - Don't Shoot! - Joan Lennon

I feel bad.

Bad as in unhappy but also as in base, blameworthy, conscience-stricken, deleterious, delinquent ... my thesaurus goes on and on, but you get the idea.  Why do I feel this way?  Because I've arrived on the wrong side of a deadline without achieving what I'd planned.

Does it matter that the deadline was self-imposed?  Really rather ambitious?  Actually not all that likely?  Yes.  It does.  I'm serious about the book I'd hoped to have finished.  Committed.  Enthusiastic.  Passionate, even.  And yet, I am stopping working on this book because I need to be focusing on another (and, in case this other book should feel slighted, I'd like to put on record that I am serious, committed, enthusiastic and passionate about it too) - a book that also has a deadline - a deadline set by someone other than me.

Never missed one of those.* 

Then I went looking for the origin of the term deadline.  And found it in the American Civil War.  A line was drawn in the dirt 15-20 feet inside the stockade of prison camps.  Any prisoner who stepped over the line could be shot.

Blimey.

Those deadlines were definitely set by somebody else.  Those deadlines you definitely would not want to be on the wrong side of.

Think I'll stop wasting time feeling bad and knuckle down ...


* touch wood


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7 comments:

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Pippa Goodhart said...

Is that also where the expression about drawing 'a line in the sand' comes from? How interesting.

Nick Green said...

I think 'A line in the sand' comes from the story of the Alamo, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Sounds familiar as I'm just in the process of printing out one book, having abandoned another earlier today. As they both have self imposed deadlines, I asssume I won't be shot, but ...

Linda Cracknell said...

By the way I didn't mean to be anonymous!

Sarah Scheele said...

lol, I'm glad that's just an expression these days . . . because I've missed a couple of self-imposed deadlines myself

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