Monday, September 1, 2014

Constructs Of A Mild Panic Attack

There was a period of time between my Fire Service retirement and writing novels that stress was not a major factor...except that one instance where my heart quit for a few seconds in the Cardiac Cath lab. Otherwise, things weren't too bad. I had a good thing going, but started to get bored. The next thing you know, I took up writing fiction and loved it. My long-stifled creativity came to the surface and, like every other author in existence, had moments of envisioning a comfortable existence lounging on my veranda with a nice bottle to nurse while I penned my next masterpiece. Then it started happening. Everything had a deadline of one sort or another, just like before my retirement. Edits, forms, marketing plans, more edits, and learning new rules from somewhere in Chicago to write by that I had never seen before, but had to reformat my manuscript to fit them in amazingly short periods of time. The rubber was not only meeting the road, but also running over the author, especially in my latest submission. All of the necessary documents were sent to me in "read only" format. Everything I completed and returned was unchanged. No corrections noted even after supposedly switching off the "read only" feature. My first deadline was August 24th and I sent the manuscript on the 9th. I got word back on the deadline of the problem. Now she wanted it by the 1st. There was no way to re-edit 522 hours worth of corrections. That's where the panic began to rise. I became stressed. Then I realized that my contract had a deadline of October 1st - not September 1st, and wouldn't you know it, but I think I found the file I needed and sent it along the next day. Stress relieved, at least momentarily. Moral of the story: Don't panic until you're the slowest guy running from the bear. Gary

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