Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What, Me Worry?

By Tracy Kiely

I am a procrastinator. I would say that I’ve always been one, but it was a trait that was slow in the making. (Give yourself ten points if you got that.)  I’ve always attempted to kid myself that this trait doesn’t adversely affect my work. I will calm myself with pithy platitudes such as, “I work best under pressure,” and “People don’t really care if there are spelling errors,” and “Nobody will care if it’s a little late."
None of these, of course, are true.
Once in a blue moon, I will manage to produce something quite good in a short amount of time. More often than not, however, I produce something that one could reasonably assume was pounded out on an old typewriter by a semi-literate monkey. This is when stress hits. (Well, to be fair, I have several trigger points for stress, such as the holidays, speaking in public, shopping for bathing suits, and having the sex talk with my kids.)
When I am stressed, any “humor” I might normally weave into my work evaporates with a small puff of smoke. I go into frantic “INEEDTOHITMYDEADLINE” mode, and the results are never pretty. Crying is usually involved, as well as desperate bartering with any and all higher powers that if they get help me out of this jam, I will never let deadlines slide again. Now, of course, those higher powers have heard all this before so they now merely roll their eyes and go back to doing whatever higher power entities do (which I like to imagine involves shuffle board).
This process can be best summed up with the following chart:
This pretty much sums up my process
I’m not sure why I put myself through this torture. I could have two weeks to do write a blog, essay, make a stinking phone call, and I will wait until the very last minute. I have no justification for this. Once my task is complete, I can almost feel my “humor” quietly and shyly return, like a skittish puppy that was frightened off by a loud noise. It is only then that I can take another look at whatever I’ve written and make it better. (Case in point, I will most likely post this blog and then “edit” it three or four times during day.)

So, for me anyway, while stress gets the blood flowing and the mind racing, the results are not always creative or even coherent. But, I’ve decided to be better about this. In fact, it’s my number one New Year’s Resolution. For the year 2020.


RM Greenaway said...

Well, look what stress produced, this great post. I love your chart. I can relate!

Susan C Shea said...

I'm so with you. In fact, right this minute, I should be writing a fundraising letter for a non-profit I volunteer with, writing thousand words for the WIP, and cleaning up the garden. But here I am on social media....