With spring just around the corner, I thought I’d declutter my desk and give myself a fresh space to concentrate and get organized.
So, I put up a corkboard that I bought before Christmas (just for this little task) and proceeded to post my TO DOs related to writing.
Exhibit A (the first image above)
I was so proud of myself for finally getting this task done and clearing my work space that I had to take a picture so I could share it — I know, but I was proud of myself for taking that first step.
As I worked on some housekeeping items on my computer for some volunteer work I do (writing community and elementary school community stuff), a few more TO DO items came to mind that I had avoided putting down on my already overflowing list. No biggie. We’re being thorough here, right?
24hrs after putting up my “Let’s get organized” board, I’m staring at the Big Picture all of a sudden and averting my gaze… Here I was, so excited about having a plan and writing down my To Do List items on coloured pieces of paper (a great procrastination technique for avoiding writing/editing), and now I’m feeling overwhelmed again.
3 short stories I promised to critique (1 novel beta read I completely dropped the ball on last month).
3 publicity initiatives I need to follow through on (facebook infographics/update my book events here/schedule another 6 or so blog posts for my emerging author website–Infinite Pathways)
2 projects to complete before going to Toronto Comic Con in 3 weeks (design mini-booklets for Lost Chapter #1/design, print, and stick labels on my paper book bags)
1 personal short story to edit (my publisher is looking for that by May 1st)
1 new book to edit (mine! was picked up by Love Knot Books but I won’t get those edits for another month or so)
2 new books to write (Forgotten Fallacy–book 4 of Chronicles/and book 2 in the aforementioned romantic suspense series just picked up by Love Knot Books)
1 Grant Application to complete (today’s deadline)
1 Grant Application to prepare for (October deadline)
1 book to update (Cadence of Consequences…apparently my “style experiment” is rubbing traditional readers a tad raw so I need to add names before each shift after a break when I switch to a new point of view)
3 middle grade adventure stories to rewrite (long-term goal for this year)
Amazon reviewers to approach
Query letter to send to agents (for The Hollow Kiss, book 1 in my Urban Fantasy series)
A list of bookstores to contact to get my books in on consignment
TAKE A DEEP BREATH (I’m yelling this at myself, not you)
How easy it is to forget to prioritize; to breathe; to take small steps, to breathe, and to realistically look at the fact that some of these items have been hanging over my head for a year now; some I need to complete within the next month; one I’d like to finish within the next two months (draft 1 of Book 4!); and still others that are on my “distant future” want list.
I think I’m still going to need that small TO DO list back on the corner of my desk — just so that I can prioritize and let myself see that:
A) There are actually 5 colourful notes I can take down and toss out — DONE!
B) There are 2 large notes that are “handy reminders” and not actual things To Do — YES!
C) There are only 4 projects I need to balance right now, 2 of which will be done by the end of the week, a 3rd by early next week — Okay!
D) The most important note on that board is not a note at all, but the picture of my son, for whom I cannot feel guilty spending time with.
And, that’s the takeaway here.
As much as I love writing, and editing, and helping others until my eyes bleed and my fingers…you get the idea. I need to remember that’s not what life is about. Sure, I’d like to make my deadlines and get some more traction on the sales of my books, but when it comes right down to it, if my six-year-old needs my help to pass the “boss man” on Crash of the Titians (X-Box 360), then I’m there for him 😉
What about you?
Have you had to shake your head recently and really prioritize your To Do List?