Don’t be a slowcoach.

Last week, I mentioned I was working to submit an essay about John Milton’s Paradise Lost before Friday.

I’m pleased to report I managed to submit it via the university’s online system on Wednesday and – as Dundee hasn’t gone fully electronic yet – in person at the office on Thursday. There will be more to come next semester, but that’s it for the moment.

Unlike Douglas Adams, I try my utmost to respect deadlines. Yes, other priorities are going to stand in the way from time to time, but not on every occasion. The last thing I want is to gain a reputation as someone who says they’ll do a piece of work then doesn’t deliver in time. Even with the essay business, I made sure there was an entry here every Monday.

Ladybank railway station Original description:...
Ladybank railway station Original description: Ladybank Railway Station Looking down the track, straight on for Perth, bear right for Dundee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Saturday evening, I was booked to read poetry at Off the Rails at Ladybank railway station in Fife; it was at one point the stationmaster’s house. About 50 people are packed into a single room, while poets and musicians perform in front of an open fire. The building seems to be well soundproofed, so it’s rare to hear a train; the loudest noise was the wind howling outside the window.

Unfortunately, two of the four poets had to cancel, and only one replacement could be found at short notice. This gave me a deadline of less than half an hour to expand my set accordingly. I’d brought seven poems with me, which would push me just over my 10 allocated minutes.

Fortunately, the rest of my work is backed up to Dropbox and I was able to read a long piece from my phone to make up the time. It ended up being an excellent night, and I’m happy to do it again in the future.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t be a slowcoach.

  1. Yes it was a delightful night, Gavin, even if some were faced with a closed Tay Road Bridge on the return journey, necessitating a very long detour via Newburgh and Perth. On another point, I respect your determination to adhere to deadlines. Writers who persistently ignore deadlines soon find themselves without work . It’s disrespectful and arrogant – everything one doesn ‘t want to be seen as. Being on time with essays, too, is brilliant practice for the real world of writing and editors!

    Like

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