Changing write night would just be wrong February 21, 2014 • Russ Batenhorst
I almost wrote this a day early this week. I wonder if you would have been able to tell. Wednesday is my normal day for writing this little entry each week and getting it sent off to the Tribune office. It probably is better that way. If they had it for more than one day before it had to be set up on the Friday editorial page, that would give them more time to realize maybe they should find something else to take up the space.
When I first started doing it, the editor at the time suggested Tuesday as a decent deadline. I think I pushed my luck a time or two by being a day late back then. I began to realize things were still being done even with a Wednesday submission.
The role of editor changed hands and I just gradually pushed my deadline to Wednesday. I don’t think I’d ever be bold enough to try to push my luck to Thursday. Even I know it takes at least 24 hours for someone who actually knows how to write to proofread and clean up the mess I submit, usually late at night.
So, Wednesday night it is. Wednesday night this week looked a little busy, though. We had a quick trip to my wife’s hometown to celebrate a birthday dinner. It’s just about an hour-and-a-half drive.
Earlier in the week, I acknowledged that it might be smart to write earlier than normal rather than get back late and then have to do it. For some reason, though, I just couldn’t seem to pull the trigger on Tuesday night. It was a nice quiet evening, nothing to do away from home. It was pretty much a feet-up, remote-in-hand kind of night. It would have been just right to write.
But somehow, I knew it was just Tuesday. It’s not as if I HAD to do it. It could wait. And anyone who knows me well knows that if it can wait — it will.
Plus, who knows what effect it might have had on the rest of the week and daily rituals. If I wrote a day earlier than normal, then maybe I would think the workweek had come to an end one day earlier than normal. I might have had a hard time explaining to the boss that I wasn’t at work Friday because it felt like Saturday since I had written my column a day early.
And I might have had the place to myself if I showed up at church on Saturday morning, not Sunday. I would have to just sit there and demand that others adjust to my mistiming by holding services a day early. And worst of all, if it carried on even longer, I would be heading back to work on Sunday, not Monday, all because I selfishly chose to write my column a day early.
On top of all that, what if word leaked out that I was productive one day earlier and submitted this column one day early? You might have thought it was going to appear one day early. There you would have been on Thursday afternoon chasing down your paper delivery person, grabbing the paper out of their hand, racing inside and opening up to page four right away to see what was up this week. Wait a minute — you mean you don’t do that every Friday? I’m crushed.
I know, I can hear all you crazy, live-for-the-moment radicals out there. You’re telling me to live large and change those routines. Go to the computer on Tuesday — heck, get real wild and try Monday, you say. Come up with that fascinating topic du jour any day of the week and let it rip.
I wanted to on Tuesday, I really did. I knew it would make for better work than whatever I would think of after a few hours on the road and a birthday cake binge. It wasn’t my birthday. I’m not an old dog. I can learn new tricks.
At any rate, it ends up it’s Wednesday again and here I am ready to go. What should I write about this week?