Try to grab at a mound of sand and it will eventually slip between your fingers. No matter how hard you hold onto it, you’ll lose most of the grains in the effort. Of course, there may be some bits of sand that may remain attached to your hand. Eventually, though, you’ll wind up dusting yourself off, or washing your hands clean, until nothing remains.
In realizing that I’ve yet again missed my Contributor deadline by a day, I’ve come to think of time as sand. Yeah, it’s probably a tired metaphor/cliché, but right now it’s the only one that springs to mind.
I could come up with any number of excuses as to why I didn’t get around to this post on time. But the fact remains that that’s all they are: excuses. I was responsible for getting this up on time and I missed it. Will there be any consequences? Externally, no, but I will have to make certain not to have a repeat performance in September. After all, for a writer words are all we have. If I give my word to someone that I’ll get things done, or if I ask them to trust that I’ll stick to the promises I make, I had best make good on that word. For example, if I ask someone to read my story, it had better not contain flaws or else I’ve lost the reader’s trust for good. Without the reader, as an author I am nothing.
This is why I find it imperative to stick to my commitments. Sure, real life can make things tricky to accomplish the things I’ve said I’ll complete, but that’s when I’ll have to evaluate just how much I have on my plate. It may simply be a matter of knowing when to stay on board with something, and knowing when to cut your losses. Will people wind up mad or disappointed? Sure, but that pales in contrast to the knowledge that you haven’t succeeded.
Stay as true to your word as you can. Whether it’s for your own self or for others, be someone people can depend on. Your words matter. Stick by them.