This week: Plan Your Work; Work Your PlanEdited by: Fyn
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I've learned over decades of building that a deadline is a potent tool for problem-solving. ~~Adam Savage
Procrastination gives you time to consider divergent ideas, to think in nonlinear ways, to make unexpected leaps.~~ Adam Grant
I see procrastination and research as part of my artistic process. ~~Lynn Nottage
A good procrastination should feel like you're inserting lots and lots of commas into the sentence of your life. ~~Ze Frank
Douglas Adams is quoted saying, "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." I used to love that quote because I typically do better work or writing when that (usually) self-imposed deadline has come and gone in a blur. But, I've learned a few things in the past few years that I'd like to share.
Deadlines can be your friend. Now, I'm not talking the 'pay this bill by x-date' sort of deadline - those one does not want to mess with or debate. And I am not talking about the work deadline that usually has a cranky boss with a deadline of their own to meet attached.
At this 'Dear Me' time of year, when we typically make resolutions for a wide variety of things, I'm talking the long term. As in, what writing do I want to accomplish in this next space of time? A previous year when next to nothing lands in my 'recent stuff' folders, I might plan to write a poem a month or commit myself to a new round of 'Construction Cup' mayhem. (And yes, late spring/early summer may well bring that about!
Or, I may plan that I really need/want/have to finish the three books that are currently in mid-write. (Can't sell that which isn't published -- unfortunately!)
Being me, both ideas are currently in the game plan. There's a foggy, blurry, hint of a deadline involved, but it is not set in stone as to the when or even, the how many. But the idea is there, in front of me. The desire to accomplish this is there as well. BUT.
As I've also learned of late: 1. I write best when I enjoy the writing. 2. Life has a way of mucking up the best-intentioned plans. 3. Stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with writing has a nasty way of wriggling in and sidetracking/derailing trains of thought and 4. Indecision and self-confidence (or lack thereof) are brutal --tying fingers in knots, coating thoughts with molasses and giving people the desire to hit the delete key more than any other.
1. If I am not enjoying the writing, I tend to find other things to do like organize the pantry, do laundry, or remove all the 'dust me notes' on the furniture. Anything that isn't writing. I convince myself that I'm simply doing all those things that should be done, or have already been done because I live here and the dog, sure as shooting, is far too busy! Besides, when I AM writing, these things get all too easily ignored because, hello - writing!
Usually, I get to the witchy stage if I don't write enough. Even my ever-so-accommodating hubby will make a comment that I need to be writing. But then, he knows writing is my way of interpreting nonsensical life happenings, family dramas and stresses that arise from simply living. He also knows full well it is how I destress, work off nervous energy and put things in perspective. (Kind of like a good yack with a best friend except one cannot (unfortunately) live on the phone.
That is why I plan of finishing the three books because I figure it will take that to get back on an even keel. (Sad, I know!)
2. And yet, I do not stress of my self-imposed deadlines because life does muck things up and Murphy took up residence in our house many moons ago! Have to admit, I do get a kick out of mucking up his devious plans! I try (and try very hard) to find a balance between delays and accomplishment. Depends on the day/week/month sometimes. I hear from others that the same thing happens to them. Maybe we all just need a swiftly planted boot delivered!
3. Those moments when I'm writing and I suddenly realize I've typed something that has nothing, what-so-ever to do with the sentence I'm writing. Reread a paragraph the other day that had a 'to do' list in the middle of it. Worse part was that it almost made sense - to the character's mental state.
And the dreaded number 4. When it takes forEVer to write book number three in a series because EVERYONE ranted about how book two was better than book one and they LOVED the first book. Got through that and now am mid-book four. What if it isn't up to par? What if it isn't as good? What if I let people down?
Or if a book mere paragraphs from the end with a set up for the following book that I kinda/sorta don't want to write or not write anytime soon. But people want it. They bug me for it. I waffle: "Which way do I go, George?"
Or the beginning and the end are done, but I'm not confident with the middle parts. Much of which isn't written although I know all the 'stuff' that needs to happen to get from point A to Point B.
We writers can be so blinking hard on ourselves!! So laundry gets folded and put away because it really is better than living out of the dryer or as we've more ornaments for ten trees (let alone the two we have) that it makes perfect sense to go through each and every single one and sort them out. Right? Uh huh. Oh, but wait, I really, really like that one that I haven't used in years....
This is when being flexible comes into play. As long as we don't overdo the putting off, the procrastination, the 'maybe tomorrow.' Too much of that and we become something other than a writer. Which cannot happen! Because we are. Writers. So sooner or later, for our own sense of sanity and self-preservation, we must write. Sometimes, even wrong writing is better than no writing. Or writing something totally different, out there or just plain weird. Because we must be what we are or we'll never be happy!
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Kayla Sullivan says:Now I have to spend the day making cookies with the kids! Thanking you for giving myelf an excuse to play!
Cookies are always a good thing!
K.HBey writes: The issue emphasizes someone's need for an inner moment. Such a dear moment lets someone savor life and especially within family's warmth. This issue coincides with holidays feasts. It is an important and nice issue.
Lilli adds: I love this! You are going to have quite a houseful and I think it's just wonderful! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Fyn! And yes, don't forget to take care of yourelf!
Am and did! Thanks!
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