Contrary to the post title, I’m not actually under pressure of any sort, which is kind of the problem. You see, I need pressure to get things done. I never used to be like this. I used to be the kind of person that did things that needed to be done as soon as humanly possible. I used to pay bills as soon as they came in or put in a load of washing as soon as I had a drum’s worth or submit my columns a week before they were due for print or buy a winter coat in the Autumn. Now I’ll almost freeze my arse off before dragging it to the shops.
I think I know when this change came about. I spent 2007 at Asian Woman Magazine and the experience changed me. It was so intense, so full on, so 100% 24/7, so unbelievably demanding, I felt like I was spending every second of my life fire fighting while juggling a million different things. Now take that description and times it by ten and you’ll get a rough idea of what it was like. It was as traumatic as it was exciting, and it taught me the real meaning of working under pressure.
After leaving (as much for my health as for my sanity), everything calmed down to the point where I felt like I was living in slow motion. After that kind of existence, “normal” life seems stripped of adrenaline – bland and sort of tasteless. It took me a long time to come down from the highs of that type of life. One of the things I haven’t got back, however, is the ability to pace myself. Now I need pressure to be able to work so I leave everything until the last minute. I spend days procrastinating, knowing that deadlines are looming but I wait and do nothing until the axe begins swinging over my head. It’s a terrible way to work but I haven’t managed to snap out of it.
The reason why I bring this up is because I have six months to finally get the second book wrapped up. Six months isn’t actually a lot of time for most authors but to me, it seems like an eternity. And that worries me. I don’t want to suddenly snap into action in May 2009 and find that a month isn’t enough to perfect the book. I want to work on it today and tomorrow and every day, and polish it to the point of perfection. Instead, I find myself procrastinating.
I’m going to try and stop being this flake I don’t recognise. I’m going to try and go back to the person who was organised, stable and knew exactly where she was going and what time she was getting there (though I don’t know if I’ll recognise her since she never spoke in the twattish third person).
I’ll buy my winter coat and take it from there.