For better or worse, I’ve always been the kind of person who does things at the last minute. I was always a good student, but even when I was in the earlier levels of grade school I would regularly let homework and projects fester in my backpack until the night before they were due. Grade 8 Science was the first time I ever studied for a test more than one day beforehand, and it didn’t happen again until provincial exams in the 11th grade. By the time I hit college I still had no time management skills at all. I just did everything immediately before it had to be done. This may be the reason that I had such a rough go of it when college-level Calculus came around, but I can honestly say that I didn’t learn my lesson. I’m still a last-minute kind of person, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s like it’s wired into my DNA.
Another example: this past Friday I decided to submit an entry to Writer’s Digest’s “Short Short Story” competition. Do you know how long they’ve been taking submissions for this particular competition? Months. Do you know when the final deadline was? This past Friday. Yeah. That’s me, alright.
I’d been staring at the contest page for weeks, and since they regularly send out emails to remind you about ongoing contests, I stared at those as well. A thousand ideas ran through my head for what I could write for the “less than 1500 words” contest. Ha, I thought to myself, 1500 words! That’s nothing! I can write that in an afternoon!
And that’s pretty much exactly what I did because, as usual, I let the ideas sit in the back of my head until Friday, when I looked at the date on my computer and realized that the contest was ending at midnight. So I sat down at my computer after my daughter was in bed, and I whipped that story out fast. It was based on a short story I’d written (poorly) several years prior, so that helped me to write faster. I re-read the mini-manuscript twice, hoped that I hadn’t missed any glaring typos or superfluous adjectives, and whipped up a quick title page. Then I uploaded the file, filled out the online form, and hit “Submit” with only a couple of hours left to the deadline.
Honestly, I’m not expecting anything to come of this particular submission. It’s not bad, but it could definitely be better, and I’m sure there will be tons of submissions to this particular contest so I’m probably up against lots of competition. That said, I’m glad I forced myself to sit down and rip something out in order to participate. At least I can say that I’ve taken part.
And if I were to win one of the multiple prizes? Well that would just be awesome. 😄