I have a proofreading job that I left till the very last minute. I have the first draft of a short story I want to finish. I have a new book I want to read. Who will win this tug-o-war?
JOB: I realize I bore you silly, but I am due Monday morning and you are only on page 68. Are you demented? Pick up your red pencil and comb me for typos. I’ll give you a good one if you look closely enough.
STORY: I feel incomplete. My pages are so… inadequate. Don’t you want to tinker with my sentences some more, don’t you want to fill up my holes? Write me, please. My blank spot on page 10 is quivering with anticipation.
BOOK: I’m good. You don’t know how good yet, but believe me when I tell you: once you start me you won’t be able to put me down. You’ll devour me in one sitting. And, truly, don’t you have time for 115 pages of good prose?
It’s a conundrum.