Is my bulimia showing?
Truth teller, 14 years and forever

On word counts and deadlines

BREAKING NEWS: I submitted a column three days early.

Mostly because I had two due on the same day and needed to knock one out, but still. In the past I’ve waited until the very. last. minute.

Sometimes, usually when I’m right up on one, I lament my deadlines but then I remember hey! I have a deadline. That means someone is paying me to write, so there’s that.

Also, perhaps more key, without those deadlines there is no way I would have six years of columns to be shaping into a book this fall. Nope. I’d still be waiting for “someday when I have more time.” So, three cheers for deadlines!

In other business, I just send a note to my editor with the subject line: “Oops, I did it again.”

(Though I think I forgot the comma).

Because, alas, I am once again over my column word count. Six hundred words is a challenge for someone like me who can’t Tweet effectively due to the platform’s strict 140 word limit. (One hundred forty?! Come. On!)

But, in my defense I squeezed in a dash of depression, a spoonful of suicide and a sprinkle of God stuff, oh also a titch of volunteerism, all under 1,000 words.

(I started at 2,700 words, so … )

Some people would suggest not trying to get all of that into one column. Those people would struggle less on deadline than I do probably.

Luckily, I have awesome editors who understand we writers each bring our own blend of awesome and annoying to the table.

I happen to have super understanding editors who happen to be less attached to my writing and are able to cut and chop when needed.

One of my favorite graph’s from this new column is:

What does all this have to do with a column about parenting? Well, I'm glad you asked.

One concept I'm trying to consciously impart on my boys is the habit of identifying a need, and then meeting it.

In other words, don't be the guy standing there with his hands in his pockets. Don't be the guy sitting on the couch asking "What can I do to help?" Instead, figure it out. And then go do it.

We’ll see if it makes the cut!

Depression statistics infographic

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