Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deadlines #2

This is a repeat of a post I did last December. It is so important that I feel like I should repeat it.

This time of year, I am reminded of the importance of deadlines as well as the lack of importance of deadlines. That my sound a little funny, so let me explain. First, I think that it is common knowledge that we need deadlines to push us over the top to finish projects. A couple of examples that I can think of is how many sports teams really push hard to get ahead in the last two minutes of a game. And how students study extra hard and long just before a final test. We definitely need deadlines to help us.
But there is another side of deadlines when it comes to publishing a family history. Every year I have some people ask me when is the last date that they can finish writing it and have it published for Christmas. We discuss the different deadlines and then I usually say something like this, "I just want to remind you that it is wonderful to have you book completed for Christmas, but your book will be around for a hundred years and so it is more important to have it just right than to meet a deadline." This is wisdom that I learned from my father. He used deadlines to help propel him forward, but he never cut corners. Maybe that is the perfectionist in him.
Keeping deadlines in their proper perspective is so important as we do these very large projects, like writing and publishing a family history. Use Christmas, a family reunion, or other occasion as a deadline to work towards, but remember that your book will be treasured for years to come. Make it a legacy that you will be happy with and not one full of regrets.
Chris Stevenson

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