It's 10 o'clock on Tuesday night and I have yet to finish my weekly column. And it's not that I have nothing to say or don't want to write, I just can't get my thoughts in order long enough to form a complete sentence. By the morning it'll be time for the newspaper to go to press and I will have been on deadline for almost 24 hours.
Now, I know that 24 hours sounds like a long time, but before you start researching labor laws, pick your jaw up off of the floor - technically I haven't been working around the clock, it just feels that way.
For those of you who aren't familiar with deadlines, allow me to explain.
Being on deadline is like the do-or-die rush before a major exam or important work presentation - it's ALL you can think about.
And with back-to-back special sections, the fall edition of the St. Charles Bridal Guide and our 2007 Herald-Guide Election Special, I feel like I've been on deadline for a couple of weeks.
My boss sort of jokes with me on a weekly basis saying that my column is always the last thing I prepare before going to press - well at least I hope she's joking. I certainly wouldn't want any strikes against me.
Anyway, I never actually plan for it to be the last item on my to-do list - it just happens that way.
I don't care a great deal to be labeled a procrastinator, but I guess that at times I do fall prey to its wrath.
I'd prefer to be called perfectionist. For one, I have to have all elements of the newspaper in order and just right.
I don't like sloppy layouts or words that aren't in the perfect order so I try to stay true to the notion that if it's done right the first time, then there will be no need to wrestle with final editing.
And it usually takes me about a week to pick a topic from my mental library that I think you, my readers, would actually like to hear about.
And even though I'm tired, I guess that you can say that writing at night is my forte - when I'm in my element.
Sometimes I think that the delirium is what brings out the creativity.
I can remember working on a project in college for my public relations course.
I literally stayed up the entire night making sure that my brochures and newsletters were absolutely perfect - from the type of font styles I used to the colors I chose for my portfolio.
I was so exhausted the next day, that I walked in my 8 a.m. class, placed my self-proclaimed masterpiece on the professor's desk, turned around and walked out.
Did I mention that I was still in my pajamas? I went back to my apartment, pulled the curtains closed, curled up in my bed and slept until the evening news came on.
It's been awhile since I've pulled an all nighter, and I don't think that I'll start trying to relive the good old days tonight.
Tomorrow I'll be up before the sun rises and before any near-by rosters can crow, so goodnight to all. Rest your mind and sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite - and all that other good stuff.
I'll meet you here next week - same time, same place.
Oh, and by the way, I made an "A" on that all-night college project. I guess there's a little something to be said about perfectionism or ... uh ... procrastination as long as it gets the job done.