Sunday, April 1, 2007

Parkinson's Law

Work expands to fill the time available for completion.

Is this a grim judgement against procrastinators? Or a pessimistic observation about life in general? Whatever the case, I do find it to be the truth.

I targetted the completion of my screenplay, and then its subsequent arrival into the hands of an agent, as March 1. Then by March 8th I still handn't finished, so I began writing day and night to get it done. I would awaken at 6 AM and sit up in bed with my laptop and keep typing until 10 AM. And THEN, only after succumbing to hunger and the revulsion of my own body odor, would I finally arise and eat and shower, etc. But then I'd go right back to my room and have at it for another 12 or 14 hours. A whole week of this slavish sleep-deprivation went on. 'Til finally by March 16th, I was done.


But even THEN I wasn't REALLY done. I had to do the "fine tooth comb" read-through now. Looking for every case-agreement violation, ever number agreement fumble, the ocassional typo that somehow made it past spell-check, and those loveable mis-placed modifyers. All of THAT took yet another week. That kind of a re-read process that I typically go trough after I have "finished" a work usually involves no less than 30 re-reads. And even then, I always miss stuff. Thank God for proof-readers and editors (in the form of friends and family).

Right now I have five individuals reading my work--no, not Spielberg or Spelling, just friends and family and even a few of the curious barristas from the local Starbucks where they watched me for months hunched over my laptop for 10 to 12 hours a day. I'd have even more avid readers in force if not for the fact that I am unable to load the darned thing onto the internet.

Right now I am waiting to hear back from my brother who knows an agent. His connections will be the most crucial. If anyone can hitch me up with an agent it'll be him.

In the hands of an agent by March 1st?? Hah! Try June 30th!


Chris said...

You left out a step: Celebration.




Sheila West said...

Hah! Thanks, Chris.

Yes, I finished it. And I am an utter mess for having done so. But yes, there is something inside of me that does a little dance at the realization that "I DID IT!" :)