It's like procrastination, but it happens not before the assignment but after, while you're waiting to hear if everything went OK.
The writing work is finished for the moment. All the text and photos have been handed over to the graphic designer, and now the waiting begins. You would think that this is the time for me to rest? Unfortunately no; due to ever so slight anxiety about how it’s all going to turn out I’m hovering at the edge of my seat, refreshing my email inbox about 500 times a day and generally trying to occupy my agitated self. In some ways this is a very productive time: the house is cleaner and tidier than it’s been for ages, insurance has been renewed, old bills/bank statements/miscellaneous bits of paper have been filed away, and even my tax return has been lodged.
Why so anxious? It's not like it matters that much. I've done my bit, I've tried my best and I'm told the cheque is in the mail. But whatever comes out, it will be the result of a collaboration, and everyone who is involved - from the people I interviewed and profiled to the faraway bosses who sign off on it all - has his or her slant. Everyone has their own angle. My angle, of course, is to do with the writing: whole sentences not fragments; active voice not passive; and a nice crisp rhythm instead of drawn-out strands of bureaucratic gobbledigook. I have been messing with other peoples' sentences and I'm sure it drives them as nuts as it drives me when they mess with mine. So I'm anxiously waiting to see how much of my stuff makes the final cut.
What to do next I wonder? eat something?