“Happy Birthday,” my students shouted when I walked into the room. I turned around, confused, wondering if they were talking to me. On the chalkboard I saw a birthday message with lots of smileys around my name.
But it was April. A coworker had told all the students it was my birthday even though he knew it wasn’t. All day long students wished me a happy birthday and I had to explain that, no, it wasn’t my birthday. My birthday was in October.
A few days later I told students to congratulate my coworker on his engagement–that he had finally asked his girlfriend to marry him because of the baby. Even the students who knew it was a payback joke, decided to pretend it was true.
Do you have some sort of birthday deadline? You know, the by-the-time-I’m-(insert magical age here)-I will-have-published-my-first-novel deadline. Or maybe not a birthday, but a magical date? By-the-year-(insert magical year here)-I-will-have-an-agent date.
Do deadlines help or get in the way? Do you set your own deadlines? Does the sound of the clock ticking spur you on or stop you in your tracks?
Then there is that ultimate deadline. You know, the line that when you cross it, you are, well, dead. How much does that day loom in your writing? How important is it to you have your work live on after you?