Drafts. I rock at first drafts; love second drafts, have been known to have as many as 16 drafts of something before I am even close to happy with it. I was that annoying kid at school who would enjoy the peer editing conferences, knowing that I would get another chance to fix all the things that needed to be fixed. I have about 7200 of them sitting around right now: A first draft of a children's book I started writing 12 years ago; a hilariously poor batch of poems. A first draft of a letter to an old friend, two or three drafts of outrage (or, less likely, praise) to my senators; one for my aunt, sitting around waiting for me to add pictures. Hundreds of posts sitting in the draft folder. Probably the same number of e-mails sitting in that drafts folder. I go through drafts and drafts and drafts of every To Do list - with a lot more carry over and a lot less crossing off than I would like, unfortunately.
The only kind of draft I am not exceptionally good at? Final drafts.
And do you know that it has taken me the better part of my 30 years on the planet to make the connection between my labor intensive and research rich drafting process and plain old procrastination?
"But I'm working on it!" I can say to myself - "I'm re-thinking it, I'm re-working it, it's still percolating, it's not all the way there yet, not Done with a capital D Done." Right, and it's often true that things need more tweaking. But there comes a point where you are just holding on to something, just keeping it your control for as long as possible. At some point, though?
You need to finish things. You need to make the decision, write "The End", cross everything off the list (or decide it's not worth completing and toss it), stick it in the mail and sent it off.
One of the things that I've crossed off my list this week is deciding to have the sinus surgery. After my appointments last week, I did a bunch of research, I wrote about it here (once or twice), I asked for opinions and spent hours talking to someone I (only sort of) know who had a similar procedure. I wrote pro/con lists (yes: I actually do this), and argued with myself for as long as I could. Then I procrastinated a little bit because the answer I had wound up with was not the answer I wanted to wind up with. And then I passed in my final draft, and told the doctor to sign me up.
I'm still nervous, and I don't like that I have to have it, but it's pretty clear that I have to have it. I still don't know when, but that's the doctor's fault not mine. (His surgical nurse is supposed to get back to me next week with a date.) The good news is that my case is severe enough to require a special kind of sinus surgery, which can be done on an outpatient basis (Do not even ask me: the less severe surgery is inpatient, mine is all laparoscopic and laser-y, and so then I get to go home on the same day. Yay.) Also on the good news side of things is that the surgical nurse seemed to understand that liquid pain medication will be very important (bc I'm also getting my tonsils out. Did I forget to mention that? Yeah, they were what started this whole damn thing in the first place.) and was very clear on the fact that, since I won't be able to take my regular pain meds for at least a day or two, then I'm going to need alternatives.
So: final decision made. Now if I could just get the damn computer out of draft mode (Current draft title: "You cannot afford a Mac: choose again"), then I'd be all set.