“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” – Samuel Johnson
Well, yes, the thought of death concentrates the mind. But so does the thought of deadlines. Those of us who work in publishing live and die by deadlines (note the word “dead” in deadlines). They rule a lot of our existence here at Gather. You have the flu? Well, the May issue needs to go to the designer anyway or it won’t be ready in time. Approving page proofs for the printer is a priority – the printer does a lot of magazines and catalogs. They have given you a small slot on the press and if you miss it, there’s no telling when they will be able to fit your publication in later.
It can be exhausting. It’s a wonderful experience to work on a magazine, especially when you love the subject matter and the readers are so loyal. But it can be exhausting.
It’s tempting to think only editors face unforgiving deadlines, but I suspect everyone does in some way or another. Maybe it’s taking care of children or elderly parents. They need to be someplace for an appointment or school or they need to take medicine at certain times. There are deadlines for filing your taxes. Deadlines for the congregation newsletter. There are deadlines (somewhat loose) for planting and watering your garden. We set our own deadlines for cleaning closets or offices or garages. It can be exhausting, yes?
What about you? Do you have deadlines that you need to meet? What is the hardest thing about that? Do you like to plan ahead and have it done early? Or do you work best under pressure?
Kate Elliott is editor Gather magazine.
Photo by Alan Cleaver. Used with permission.