Is there a writer alive who has not hurried like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland to meet a deadline? Recently I came across a call for 100 pages of a memoir in progress. Aha! Just what I needed to motivate me to type faster on the memoir I was creating. I set aside other things, shortchanged poems in the making, and told friends I was busy. And I was, no lie, studying pertinent timelines, researching place names and events I have lived through. About a week short of the deadline, I was nauseated seeing how little progress I had made. So, I scribbled faster.
That manuscript rests in a cozy folder about thirty pages short. Rushing, I had lost fifty pages of the working draft because I was fiddling with the title page and erased the body of the piece. Yup, the whole darned thing. And retyping I could not count the typos in my early draft! The real dope slap was the hour when I realized that there were more serious problems than typos. It lacked depth. The tone waffled. There’s no sense in writing by the calendar. I’ll go back to that project, not because there’s an editor with a deadline, but because the writing is ripe and juicy.