I can abruptly shift to plan B (although then I adhere to that plan with the same steadfastness.)
The worst problems happen when I’m not in charge of the plan at all…when some outside force makes me change course.
Yesterday was the first day back at school for the kids. I did a bunch of work at home, then realized I needed to run a couple of errands before they got back. I also needed to spend more time on revisions before the elementary bus arrived at 2:00 (yes, my daughter is home early—she’s at school at 7 a.m. though.) I promised myself I’d be back by 12:30.
Naturally, things didn’t go according to plan, which really rattled me. I couldn’t remember what ink cartridge my printer took when I was at the office supply store. Then I realized I needed to run an additional errand that wasn’t on my list. When I finally reached my last stop at the grocery store, it was already 12:10.
I flew through the store, ripping things off the shelves and careening dangerously through the aisles with my cart. I was determined to make my arbitrary deadline. I swiped my debit card, rushed to the car, and flung things into the back of the minivan. And then…I dropped two pounds of green grapes in the parking lot and watched as they scattered everywhere.
I’ve been just as determined to make my Berkley deadline. So when my agent got back to me on Sunday, I was at first delighted to see that my corrections looked really minimal…until I noticed she’d added one content suggestion that was a doozy.
A fix quickly occurred to me, but I groaned anyway. This would mean changing my game plan. And only days before deadline!
Fortunately, I put this in perspective. I want this book to be as perfect as I can make it before it goes to my editor. I won’t miss my deadline. It just means putting in some extra time on a section of the book I hadn’t planned on. I’ve no desire to fling grapes everywhere in another mad rush.
So I’m making the content changes. And Emily, if you’re reading this---no worries. I’m back on target for my deadline.