Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow ... nor the UPS guy

The Postal Service may have their own carrier’s oath, which goes something along the lines of “neither rain nor sleet nor snow will keep your mail from getting to you.” Writers have their own oaths, too, which goes probably runs along the lines of “neither hunger, nor poverty now bad Internet connection will keep us from writing.”

For me, it’s more like “neither hunger, nor poverty nor the UPS guy catching me in my pajamas at 10:30 a.m. will keep me from writing.”

And I had to EARN that last part!

I’ve written before about how this happened when I was deep in the throes of writing my TIPS book. I lived, breathed and ate writing that book – what writer doesn’t when they’re “in the zone”?? It’s all we can THINK about: Writing that book. There were many times I’d be vigorously typing away at the computer, still wearing the same sweats I’d slept in (one item on the list of Things I Sleep In), and at 4:30 p.m. the UPS guy showed up to find me barefoot with messy hair and sweating in my sweats.

But it’s not always a book that will have me “in the zone” or going without sufficient sleep, proper nourishment (or ANY nourishment, for that matter), a social life and fresh air; it’s writing work that I’ve got deadlines for. Until that deadline gets met, meeting it pretty much takes up most of my attention. Oh, sure, I’ll E-mail people in between working on them and I’ll field the occasional curve ball life seems to enjoy hitting me with. But for the most part, I’m a “writer at work” until my article gets turned in and my editors are happy campers.

Take this morning, for example. After only 6 hours of sleep, I logged in to my E-mail account with a funny feeling I had something important waiting for me. Sure enough, a contact in London e-mailed me saying to go ahead and send her my interview questions “sometime today” before she left town for the next few days. And all I could think was: It’s a good thing I logged on now when I did, because it’s 4:30 p.m. over there and I can catch her before she leaves!! (What is it about 4:30 p.m., anyway??) So there I sat, in a raggedy old, torn sundress that I’d slept in (yet another item on my list), typing out my interview questions then hitting Send.

Then my sister in California and I started chatting and sending family pics back and forth. In between our chat, I spent the time trying to get a hold of two other contacts for another assignment, using both E-mail and phone.

Then the UPS guy showed up. And it wasn’t even 4:30! Actually, it was 10:30.

Oh, well. Good thing I don’t sleep in lingerie.


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