Mission: accomplished

It’s 11 o’clock. I’ve just worked late to meet two deadlines. Two projects – one a comprehensive plan, the other a recap of a series of focus groups.

I drank coffee. I isolated myself. I kept my distractions to a minimum.

I finished both projects. And now, here, at 11 o’clock at night on a Tuesday, I feel completely and utterly satisfied.

To me, there’s little that’s as exhilarating as finish a project I feel confident about. Not some small random job, but a late-nighter – something important, with an inflexible deadline. There’s a rush, my adrenaline confused as to why I’m not running scared, the night’s coffee still surging through my bloodstream and wreaking havoc on my sleep cycle.

In college, when I’d stay up late finishing some monstrous narrative on child psychology, I’d often find myself with a mild case of insomnia. Coffee was no excuse in those days – just the pure rush of completion. Of conquering 4,000 words. Of feeling pretty damned awesome about whatever it was I just did.

For me, it happened again a few months ago. I wrote a proposal for a non-fiction book based on Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese (through Continuum’s 33 1/3 series). When I was finished, I sat astounded. I couldn’t believe I had just done it. My first proposal. I knew at the time that I probably wouldn’t get it – after all, with no experience writing non-fiction or music, I was a long shot – and, let’s be honest, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to take the project on. I mean, writing on this blog is difficult at times – I can’t imagine tackling a book while still working full-time as a writer with two children under three. Seems like an impossible feat.

But that proposal was good. Damned good. And I knew that even if I didn’t get the chance to write the book, I still knocked that proposal out of the park.

Tomorrow, after five or so hours of sleep, I’ll hit the office and put the finishing touches on these two projects. I’ll present my plan to the rest of the staff. I’ll wait for feedback on the focus group summary. I’ll get a handful of jobs dumped on me and I’ll make revisions and I’ll fight to stay out of the copywriting rut. I’ll come home exhausted from doing what seems like simple work.

Right now, though, I think I’ll enjoy this feeling just a little longer.

This was lovingly handwritten on April 21st, 2009