Posts Tagged With: Writers Resources

When I Have More Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Procrastination. One of my biggest weaknesses. The sweet siren song of “later…I’ll do it…later” calls to me across the great expanse of my to-do list. Does it call to you too?

Here is a piece I wrote for the delightful Pam Hawley one Life List Club Friday. If you’ve ever been seduced by the demon Procrastination or if you know someone who has…or if you’re one of those organized types and just want to point and laugh at us procrastinators, keep reading…

*originally posted at Pam Hawley’s blog on 10/7/11*

When I Have More Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

How many times have you said the following things to yourself?

“I’ll start that diet…tomorrow.”

“I’ll take one of those writing classes after the holiday hubbub settles down.”

 “I’ll try that Twitter thing when I’m not so busy at work.”

“I’ll lay my plans for world domination when the kids get a little older and don’t need me so much.”

“I’ll start/finish writing my novel when I have more time.”

If you’re like me, the count is somewhere around…well, you figured you’d count it up later and then forgot.

I know, I know. You have 542,367,895,129 to do in a day.

Like Spinning Plates

Adding one more thing, especially if it’s not for your day job or your home or your family, feels like it might just bring everything crashing down.

Plates

So we tell ourselves we’ll do it when we have just a little more time. But that’s a big fat LIE. Say it with me, “Liar liar pants on fire.” Because there will never be a little more time. And, if there is just a smidge more time, something else will come along and fill it up.

You know it’s true.

And day after day sneaks past us like ninja kittens until we are left looking back at a long span of years, scratching our heads and wondering how all that time went by without us pursuing our passions. Ahhhhhhh

Believe me, I know how it goes. I’m Queen of Later.

Bow down before me, all you procrastinators, or feel my wrath. Mwahahahaha. Um, what? Oh…really? Ok. Sorry. Back to the topic…

Seriously though, procrastination is one of my biggest weaknesses. Email piles up until my inbox is begging for mercy. Laundry piles up until we’re desperately washing tiny loads just to have underwear and jeans to wear. My exercise machine grows a fur coat of dust, my reading list grows and my outline languishes.

It’s so easy to put stuff off, especially if it has to do with writing. And especially when the writing gets hard. I tell myself I’ll just do it later. I promise this time.

But since we all know there probably won’t be a later or a little more time, we have to carve out time right now. Because the demon Procrastinator lurks around every corner and behind every dust bunny.

 Lego Joker

But, um, how do we go about this exactly? How do we smite the Evil Procrastinator?

Here’s some things that work for me:

  • Make a list of goals and pick some folks to keep you accountableLife List Club and ROW80 are awesome ways to put your goals out there and find a cheering/keep-you-in-line section.
  • Start small – If the big goal make you feel like you’re standing at the bottom of Mt Everest, try making tiny daily or weekly goals. It’s easy to build on them and develop a sense of trust in yourself. I’m all about the baby steps. But, if you’re motivated by big goals, set big goals to challenge yourself.
  • Get up early – I am so not a morning person. But, if I don’t wake up at least an hour before everyone else in the house gets up, it’s a huge challenge to get any writing done. Or you could stay up really late instead.
  • Schedule reminders on your phone – Schedule daily writing times and program your phone’s calendar to remind you twice. Really pester yourself.
  • Plan, plan, plan and list – It’s weird, I love to make lists but I used to hate making a daily schedule or an outline. I wanted to be spontaneous with my creative work and just go with the flow…except the flow usually led to nothing much getting done. So now I plan and plot and list. Plus, it’s fun to tick everything off my list.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding and taking joy in every step.
  • Leave yourself notes everywhere reminding you of your goals and cheering yourself on.
  • Cut back on time-sucks – There’s almost always more play in our daily schedules than we realize. We putter around, watch tv, surf the net, etc. At least some of those things can go so we have more time to pursue our dreams.
  • Give yourself permission to take a break – It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Cut back on your goal schedule or take a break. Just be sure to set specific goals for those cutback and breaks too so the goals don’t get abandoned.

So, even though it’s still a bit of a struggle for me, I’m learning to work around my wicked procrastinating ways. And, by all that is caffeinated, I will get my novel written (and the email read, the laundry done, the weight lost…)!

Do you put off your dreams? Procrastinate on your goals? How do you conquer that procrastination?

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Like Spinning Plates by Jameson42, on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Plates by mallix, on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Ahhhhhhh by kennymatic, on Flickr CC BY 2.0
Lego Joker by Adam Crowe, on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Making the ROWnds

ROW80 Check In for 10/26/11

I’m feeling good about last week. Still didn’t nail every goal but I was successful overall. The shorter blogging schedule is really working for me and I’ve fallen in love with my MIP again. Suddenly, I want to sneak off at every opportunity and dive into my story.

Here’s where I’ve been:

  • Work on MIP tasks 4 days/week: Figures that when I cut back on my goal days, I’d end up doing more. I did a whopping 6 days this week. And I downloaded my free Scrivener trial 2 days ago…that’s really perking up my writing. Woohoo!
  • Exercise for a minimum 5-10 minutes at a time, 5 days/week: Still hitting 4 days/week. Perhaps that’s what really fits into my rhythm and I should focus on building up the length of each workout and not trying to hit all 5 days first. Continue reading
Categories: ROW80 Check Ins | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

And the Writer Said, Let there be Blogs (and a ROW80 Check-In)

blog fatigue: (blawg fuh-teeg) noun

  1.  the condition of being overwhelmed by one’s blog and/or the number of blogs to read, often characterized by an avoidance of blogging related activities and a loss of the pleasure previously associated with those activities

Ill-GottenLast week, we discussed whether or not an epidemic blog fatigue was on the horizon. The consensus seemed to be that the risk of blog fatigue has indeed sky-rocketed but it doesn’t have to take any of us down.

Blogging and social media gives writers the opportunity to connect with a vast number of other writers, to see Continue reading

Categories: ROW80 Check Ins, Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Do the ROWky Pokey

ROW8O Check-In 10/12/11

The first week of ROW is done! I got off to a bit of a slow start but I’ll be up to speed soon. Here’s my progress so far:

  • Start exercising, minimum 5 minutes at a time, 5 days/week:
    I worked out 3 days this week for an average of 10 minutes each time. Not exactly the 5 days I’d planned for but still better than 0. I’m getting into the habit now, so hitting all 5 days next week should be no problem.
  • Update ROW8O page for the new round: Haven’t updated the page yet.
  • Have Friday’s Life List Club guest post ready to go by Wednesday: Got this one done! Continue reading
Categories: ROW80 Check Ins | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Itty Bitty Baby Steps

In honor of the Life List Club Milestone Party, I’d like to share one of my favorite guest posts so far. This was originally posted at the blog of the fabulous Catie Rhodes.

Itty Bitty Baby Steps

Sail around the world. Climb Mt Everest. Lose 30 (or 40 or 50 or 100) lbs. Eat a 10lb burrito slathered in ghost pepper hot sauce. Write a novel.

All huge undertakings.

Okay…maybe writing a novel isn’t quite the same feat as the others…but it sure feels like it sometimes. Sometimes it feels bigger than that because we have to invent something that’s never existed before, our story.

Any big task or change can feel like trying to climb a mountain. We might stand at the base, look up at the vast distance between where we are and where we need to be, and just freak out.

But…maybe, just maybe, there’s a better way. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s a (Milestone) Party!!!

 Steve's Birthday Party

Welcome to another Life List Club Friday. Today’s our Milestone Party and you’re all invited. So come on in.

Have a glass of wine or maybe some sparkling cider. snail & wine | shell-ebrations ? - explored

Don’t mind Larry. He’s already had one too many. Continue reading

Categories: Life List Club | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

100 Posts…What? Already?

*The drawing is now closed. I’ll announce the winner September 19*

Guess what.

Go on, guess.

Okay, I guess the title kinda gave it away.

I’ve made it to 100 post here!

Happy New Year !!!

When I started this blog, I had no idea what was in store for me. Since then, I’ve found so many wonderful people and learned so much. You’ve all enriched my Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

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