I didn’t realize that my prolonged break from school would be a little busier than I had imagined. I was finished with school on December 4 (I think) and don’t have to go back until the 14th of this month, giving me over a full month off. Needless to say, my first few free days involved copious playing of Assassin’s Creed III and relaxing on the internet while thinking, “Hey, you know what? I don’t have an article to work on.”
Except, shortly after Christmas, I realized I did have an article to work on. I hadn’t forgotten, of course, but since September I’ve been working on a story for my school’s semi-annual magazine. It’s a profile of the man who founded the magazine 30 years ago as of 2013, and boy, has it been fun and a challenge at the same time.
Anyhow, I got an email a day or two after Christmas from my handling editor for the story with the edits for my second draft. He said something to the effect of “Good work so far” and so I breathed a sigh of relief. Until I opened up the document with his edits. I nearly had a heart attack.
My friends in my program know what it’s like to get edited copy back, and they also know the feeling of seeing more edits than you do your own text. I didn’t realize how much I forgot to include in that second draft, mostly down to things like job titles and dates. But my editor also told me flat out that I need a lot more interviews. Since I got the edited draft there hasn’t really been an hour that I haven’t thought about what needs to be done.
But this leads to my point of the post—this article is an example of how my self-described “willpower” failed me. I’ve always thought of myself as a guy with a good amount of self-control. I’ll occasionally buy a video game but promise myself not to play it until the school semester is over. In September of 2010 I became a full-on ovo-lacto vegetarian, and I haven’t looked back once. And when it comes to school, I always resolve to get work done ahead of time rather than leave it to the last minute (the exact opposite philosophy of my 16-year-old brother).
So this article is a glaring dark spot on my mostly-pristine record of self-control. I have gone through weeks-long periods where I haven’t done any editing of the article, nor have I done any interviews. The wake-up call from my editor was exactly what I needed. I’m now in overdrive and have three interviews lined up before the end of the week (in fact my first is in about an hour from now). I’ve done a majority of the required editing and feel like I’m back on track, even if I probably won’t be able to reach the 40 required interviews in time.
Maybe I’m being a little harsh on myself, maybe not. But I hope that I can continue to exercise more self control in the future.
By the way, did you know that will.i.am’s new album is going to be called #willpower? I really hope this doesn’t start a trend of album names with hashtags because I don’t think I’ll be able to stomach it.