I have decided to compile a wonderful and amazing guide to the secret life of the student/author. Secrets that have never been revealed before shall be revealed. And you will all get to see fo fwee! *dances about* YAY!!!!!!!
Okay. Here goes.
Introduction: What many of you do not understand is that Student/Authors have deadlines. They do. They do not just write something brilliantly and send it out. They have days that are circled on their Giants baseball calendar so laboriously that the red pen has torn through the paper, and exclamation points and asterisks in their planners that stand for swear words only they know. This is basically the story and life of these people.
P.S.: The obvious exception to this rule is J. K. Rowling, who is allowed to turn in any of her books, in any form she wants. The publishers do not care. She does not have deadlines. She could write sentences in tiny penmanship on small, coffee-stained scraps of paper and toss them into the ocean and the publishers would go fishing for them. Seriously.
**I use the pronoun "he" when referring to the Student/Author, because let it be known that I am in NO WAY referring to myself. No way at all. In the world. No. Never. Not at all.
1. The Student/Author: Looking good and feeling fine.
The Student/Author is doing well. He's made a rather pathetic start to his English paper, and the story deadline for that magazine is on March 4th. Actually---he looks at the calendar---BOTH of them are due on March 4th. March 4th, you say? Hah! In Student/Author years, that's a lifetime away.
The Student/Author looks at the calendar. March 4th is a week away. This brings about...
2. The Realization (it's best to be sitting down when it comes).
What? This can't be. This really cannot be. Do they not comprehend? (This is about the time that, for some inexplicable reason, the Student/Author falls back on his rudimentary knowledge of Spanish and starts yelling, "No es possible!") The only start to the English paper that the Student/Author really has is that form of beginning that isn't really a beginning, but just a sort of excuse to use when parents ask if he has started the paper. The story---the Student/Author does not even want to talk about the story. However, the story must be started. Clearly, this is the moment to go to the English teacher and beg for more time.
3. The teacher always has something wise to say.
"My child, I cannot give you an extension because you really should have started earlier. I'm sure you'll finish. After all, you've had weeks. Good luck, Student/Author! I'll see that project in a week!" No. No, no, no. The Student/Author falls into a sort of dim haze as the teacher puts a firm hand on his shoulder and steers him gently out the door. There is nothing to do but go home and start the story. The English paper will just have to wait. The magazine deadline is March 4th...but wait! The paper is March 4th as well! The Student/Author begins to curse the times that he meant to start these unavoidable things---he really meant to!---but got distracted, mainly by
4. The Student/Author then goes into that lovely but unproductive phase of life called Denial.
This is when the Student/Author begins to do totally irrelevant things, like instant messaging, adding unnecessarily long posts to his blog, going to the mall and buying incredibly cheap stuff that falls apart the second one touches it, and standing over his sleeping father and poking him and giggling uncontrollably every time he snorts and mutters. The projects aren't due for a week, after all. The Student/Author has oodles of time. Then comes the big crash.
5. The Student/Author realizes that there is really nothing to do now but die.
How could the Student/Author ever have thought he could write? He has no ideas. None. Not even bad ones. He is in a state, having just realized that he forgot the book without which the English paper cannot be written. It is now just a few days before everything is due. The Student/Author's father is beginning to hover suggestively around the computer, harrumphing and disguising phrases like, "Procrastinator," "If you get anything less than an A, I'll kill you," and "Why are you doing THAT when the magazine deadline is in a few days?" within loud coughs. The Student/Author is thinking up worse and worse excuses as it gets later and later at night, and finally, after having reached that stage where he can only stare at a blank screen and make up small, wavering songs in which everything rhymes with "pee" while giggling feebly, he shuts down the computer and goes to bed, hoping never to wake up.
6. Suddenly, miraculously, the Student/Author is flooded with ideas, and, along with them, joy and good cheer for everyone.
The Student/Author is fancy free, having magically written the English paper AND the story within two days. The deadlines have been met and it's undoubtedly time for a party.
And that, my friends, is the secret life of the Student/Author.