Well, I'm pleased to report that today, I sent of a manuscript of an article I've been working on. Great, right? Here's the catch: the article was due in January. Towards the end of that month, I told the editor that I'd be about a week late. Wrong: it turned out to be two weeks. Granted, that's not a huge amount of time. But still.
I'm glad to have this not hanging over my head. But I know enough people who have taken on the task of editing volumes of essays and special issues of journals to know that the M.I.A. author is the bane of the editor's existence. A very common bane.
Being past-due on a promised piece is a great motivator: I've written faster in the last six weeks than I have, possibly, in the last six years. No one sets out to be the author who makes the editor tear their hair
out. Getting a reputation for that sort of thing can create problems down the road. Yet somehow, many of us find ourselves in that position.
I guess this post doesn't really have a thesis statement. But I thought I'd throw it out there, in case any of the six readers who still check in here now and then have any stories from either side of the process that they'd like to share.