My habit of writing quickly to meet publishing deadlines

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

I know that through the whole of my journalistic life, I had never been in the good books of my editors.  They always complained about my habit of taking things too easy in the beginning and then rushing to file the story before the deadline. I know that it is not a good habit, but good or bad, this is my habit.

At times I really come under pressure due to this habit, but I think it is my self confidence and experience which always helps me to meet the deadline. Of course, under such a situation one can understand the severity of the pressure that the editor passes through, after leaving a blank space in the dummy newspaper, for my story.

Something like that happened this week.

Last Sunday I told Chris and Margaret that I would be submitting this column, and some other news a little earlier as I would be out of the TRNC at the weekend.  In return they told me that they too were planning to finish earlier this week.

I had planned to sit at my PC in the evening and write this column, but I found myself more inclined to go out for a long run/walk that evening.

The next morning I sent a message to Margaret saying that I could not write my column last evening, and would be submitting it a little later that day. I had thought to write it during my lunch break, but as it always happens, after having my lunch, I sat in a chair, spread out my legs, and closed my eyes for a short rest. My mind tried to remind me that I was supposed to write the article, but the same mind told me to enjoy the cool atmosphere and take a rest. “Don’t worry, you are a quick writer, you can do it in a short period of time, after you take some rest,” I had heard my mind saying that to me. So I closed my eyes, to continue resting. When I re-opened my eyes, the lunch break had already passed,  and my boss was calling to finish an uncompleted job.

I once again consoled myself, saying that it won’t be too difficult to write the column in the evening at home. Unfortunately, I had to stay late in the office that evening. But that was not all. When I reached home, I was told by my wife, that were supposed to go out to attend the marriage of a close friend. So once again the idea of writing my column was left behind. Again I promised myself that I would be writing it the next day, during the lunch break.

The next day, once again I asked Margaret to allocate space for me, and I would be submitting my column some time that day. But as you can imagine, the lunch time came and went the same way, as it had a day earlier. Once again I renewed my commitment to write the column that evening.

But as the saying goes, what man proposes, God disposes. When I reached home that evening, i found my son playing some game on the PC, along with his friends. I did not want to disturb them, because my son was leaving for Turkey the next morning. So I waited, for their game to finish. But it was not like that, their game continued and continued. When I went to bed at around 11.30pm they were still playing the game. My son went away later.

Again I was in the same situation. Again a short message to Chris, asking him to keep the blank space allocated to my column, and promising to write in a short period of time. Interestingly, I seem to have finished my column, right now, this evening (Wednesday).

I learnt journalism, when there were no computers. We used to type. Those who had used typewriters, know that doing corrections while typing is a very time consuming and disturbing action, particularly for a person like me, writing quickly at the last moment. So I developed the habit to write accurately, so that I would not have to correct.

Now we have computers with all sorts of facilities, yet still I do not read and check again after writing. This is due to my habit of writing everything in its final shape, without going through any correction and amendments.

NOTE: One more reason of typing without re-reading or amending is because I know that Margaret is a perfect editor, and none of my mistakes can pass through her without being spotted and corrected.