Contest closing dates and submission deadlines can creep up on you all too quickly, even if you start working on your entry/submission in 'plenty of time', and don't suffer from procrastination or writers' block. Life has a habit of flinging banana skins in your path.
    I know all too well how it can happen. Two diabetic dogs, one of whom is reluctant to eat anything else, have been gobbling up my time and mental stamina lately. One day, Sophie's jumping up the kitchen cupboards, because you can't get the food to her quickly enough, and the next she doesn't want to know. There's no warning, that's just the way it goes. Life's like that: one day you're jogging along in the usual groove, and the next, something unexpected–good or bad–totally knocks you off-course. It could be losing your job, acquiring a new pet, or illness.
    Don't beat yourself up if you suddenly discover that there are more important things than writing, although if you can find time to jot down your feelings, it can help yo to think more clearly and see things in perspective. It might be that the thought of anyone else reading how you're feeling horrifies you, in which case you can delete or tear up what you've written. Simply writing things down is often enough. But reading about your experiences could help others going through similar upheaval.
   If you are going to have trouble meeting a deadline for commissioned work, contact the editor/publisher as soon as possible. You might lose that job, but at least you shouldn't find yourself with a bad reputation. As for contests–it isn't the end of the world if you miss one, and anything you have managed to get on paper can be useful in future. In the words of Mad Ehrmann in Desiderata: "Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars: you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."