Inside Look at a Last-Minute Project With a Crazy Deadline

I’m sitting at my desk with a quart jar of iced tea by my side and wondering where the last few days went. 

The inside of my brain is a vacant space. My belly is full from the day-old donut I just inhaled. And I’ve got at least five hours ahead of me before I’m sure my project is safely put to bed.

But let me start the story at the beginning…

Tuesday 9pm: I’m sitting down to play Unstable Unicorns (think: Magic the Gathering, lite) with three of my kids, when the phone rings. It’s A-list copywriter Marcella Allison. She says, “I know this sounds crazy… and you can say no… but I have this rush job and you’d be great for it.” Who can pass up an offer like that? I say yes on the spot. 

Wednesday 9am: We get the go-ahead on the project.

Wednesday 11am: Kick-off call with the amazing client-whisperer/project manager.

1pm: I turn in the first draft.

3pm: Kick-off call with the client. (I already wrote a draft because the deadline is in 24 hours, but I still need to know what the client thinks about the product. He had some great ideas.) I go back to the drawing board.

6:30pm: I turn in Draft 2.

11:30pm: I turn in Draft 3 and GO TO BED.

Today, Thursday 8am: More writing. 

11am: Draft 4 submitted. 

5:13pm: Draft 5 submitted. Face fed with donuts. Tea poured and drunk. This is the first draft that goes to the client. Now, we wait for feedback.

But what else did I get done today, while I was doing the crazy mom-life?

I homeschooled Spanish 3, even though I don’t speak Spanish. 

I took my kids to our twice-a-month family picnic lunch, because family matters.

I took my daughter to work, because she doesn’t get her license until September.

I grocery shopped for the week, because thanks to quarantine, I can only shop once a week.

All of this to say, it’s cool to be hyper-productive occasionally and to know you have the tools to get stuff done. But it’s also smart to know when to slow down.