I did a little research on the origins of the word “deadline.” It seems most etymologists agree that usage of the word can be traced to the American Civil War, particularly in reference to the appalling conditions of the Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia, where a somewhat shoddy and incomplete “dead line” ran around the interior perimeter of the main wall, creating a no-man’s land of about 20 feet in width. Any Union prisoner crossing over this dead line would be shot on sight.
Another source attributes the use of the word to early 18th-century printing presses, in which a line on the press indicated a point beyond which text would not print properly. When printers referred to the “dead-line” they weren’t talking about a time for getting to press.
I got to thinking about this last night after frantically trying to wrap up the daily post. Wow, y’all…….yesterday was kind of a doozie. I hadn’t expected to run into someone like Diana, with all her loads of enthusiasm for what she was doing and for what I was doing, and her willingness to just put it right out there. Then again, I wasn’t surprised. That sort of thing will happen a lot when you allow yourself to just be out there, open ears, open arms, open mind. I went in there for a basket and came out with…well, check the post, if you haven’t already. It was kind of overwhelming, actually, and took me more than a hot minute to put it all together.
Smell an excuse coming? My stated intention for this little odyssey was one post daily: shoot it, write it, post it. Somewhere in there it seemed implicit that it would all happen within the course of a 24 hour period. If I didn’t say that, I was definitely thinking it. Now, I did say I had no idea how this would work or if it was possible to pull off, and that there would be no repercussions if I quote unquote failed. I also said that if I broke my own guidelines, in even the most basic way, I would be transparent.
So, full disclosure: I posted yesterday’s entry at about 2am CST this morning.
But hold on a second, hear me out: the piece was mostly finished by midnight, save for some detail editing and captioning. I’m always going to favor getting it right versus getting it out on time. (The ghost of a long-forgotten college newspaper editor-in-chief just harumphed over my shoulder). I have the benefit of different rules here. After all, I made them. And I certainly followed the spirit of the game: the photos were shot, the visit was made, the interview completed and transcribed, all on December 2nd. Most of the story was written, as well, though I transferred the digital media from all 3 cameras shortly after midnight.
Anyway, most businesses that straddle two calendar days generally record everything that happens during that day as the date when the day began. And my days typically begin a bit later, since I am a bartender for bread, and a chronic night owl.
So enough on that subject. I’m no longer tying myself to the brittle constraint of a midnight deadline. In a situation when I’m submitting yesterday’s post on the next morning, I will date it accordingly and explain why. And, I will still do a separate post for that day. Unless I really do miss a whole day, like wake up in the morning with nothing from the day before, in which case I will promptly beg your pardon.
Today is Wednesday. These will always be challenging days for me, since I have to be at work by 2pm in the afternoon. Which creates another new definition of my own version of a deadline.
Something is about to get shot.