Made a Fatal Mistake…

By Leroy James King · July 12, 2010

Well, it finally happened.  I messed up.

I've been working on this one gig for some months now, and I did that thing you always have nightmares about in college.  The analogous college nightmare description to delay describing what I actually did:

In the nightmare, you wake up in your dorm room and suddenly remember that you've forgotten to go to a class you've been enrolled in for the entire semester thus far.  Then you realize that it's too late to drop the class, and you're gonna have to suffer a big fat zero for the class.  Panic ensues.  You fall out of your bed, call your mom crying, try to plead with the professor, etc.  Then you wake up and are convinced that the dream was real, so you pop up in bed hyperventilating.  You run to your backpack and rummage for your forgotten books that have been conspicuously MIA all semester.  They're nowhere to be found, so you rush to your bed and start tearing off the mattress, flip over the bed frame, sift through endless piles of crap and turn up nothing.  The panic starts to turn to more hyperventilating… but then something clicks and you realize that it had all been a dream.  You laugh at yourself, crawl back in bed, and skip class the whole day in celebration of having not actually fucked up.  The end.

Well today, I lived the nightmare, but it wasn't a nightmare.  And it wasn't college.

I basically realized I had forgotten about this writing gig for the past month.  I got a really confused email from a client that was like, "I can tell something's gone wrong.  Lets talk."

The odd thing is that I'm not panicking at all, which I guess is a good thing…?  I'm pretty sure I can pound it all out tonight, or by early tomorrow afternoon.  But fuck.  Even though I'm not panicking, I feel like a total shit bird.  It's just not like me to totally forget about something like this.  Which brings me to my point.

When it comes to writing gigs, it helps to take on gigs you actually like, or are interested in.  The gig I've been on has been incredibly mundane, tedious, full of back and forth, etc.  Then there was a communication falloff for a while, as this producer dude was MIA for a while, so I figured I was in a holding pattern.  So then I just forgot about, actually pretty relieved it seemed to have just sort of drifted away…

Well, that's not what happened.  It's still very much alive, and I'm only really kind of scared because I'm guessing I will have severly tarnished the relationship with this guy.  Alas.

I'm kind of in a spot now where I'm omnipresently relaxed, unconcerned, and content with everything that's going on around me.  I'm engaging projects I enjoy, as opposed to the ones that just make me crazy.  Kind of a big leap for me.

So when something like this happens (and yes, this is a pro bono gig), I'm hard pressed to get too up in arms with myself about it.  Is that wrong?  Do I have Peter Gibbons from Office Space syndrome?  Maybe.  But I wasn't fucking hypnotized or anything.

I guess I'm just getting over a hump of self deprecation, loathing, and fear, and am finally moving into a zone of… "I know what I want to do, so I'm just going to do it."

Granted, though it is a pro bono gig, I have committed to it, so I definitely am upset with myself about this.  But people fuck up, right?  I mean… right?