Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tackling the To-Do

I love making lists. I love crossing things off lists. I love making additional lists to extrapolate on points from my original list. Sometimes I have the same list on my phone, my calendar (the good old-fashioned kind) and a random piece of paper. Then I can spend quite some time making sure all the lists match. It's delightful. It's also an excellent procrastination tool.

Don't want to clean the car right now? Add it to the list. Make sure there are subcategories for "find cleaning supplies and garbage bags" and "borrow shop vac". Try to include at least one point that is difficult to accomplish (definitions of "difficult" vary according to interest level) and will completely thwart your attempt to complete the activity.

When you do succeed at crossing an item off the list, be sure to replace it with at least two others now that you have time to do them because you finished that first thing.

Today's list includes meeting with my previous manager to try getting my old job back so I can pay my rent and adopt a greyhound, stopping in on my old co-workers for a visit, and having my mobile number swapped back from a Yukon number to a local exchange. Then I can spend at least an hour notifying my contacts of the change.

After all that excitement, I will sit my butt down in the chair and work on my edits. I've reworked the first nine chapters, so about a quarter of the manuscript. I love proofreading and it goes pretty quickly, but I'm more easily distracted than when I'm writing. The cat needs to be petted. The trails need to be walked on. Social media needs to be trolled. You know. The usual things that are more enticing than working, no matter how compelling the work.

Blogging is also a major diversion. My plan was to write about what my life as a writer is like (as if that hasn't been done), but so far it's been a bit of a hodge-podge. I suppose that is in fact what my life as a writer is like right now, but I'm aiming for more dramatic posts in the future; publishing news, launches, cover designs, what my dog learned today, the shoes I bought for a super bargain, etc. I'll probably even put some thought into the layout and design of this blog. For now, I'll just put it out there once in a while and see if anyone bites. It's therapeutic for me and keeps me writing even on the days when I'm not into mucking about with my manuscript.

I think next time I'll post my plot summary. It's time to get the word out about Captain Millicent and the Black Pirate, so there will be some buzz by the time I publish. Also I find myself more accountable when my words hit the blogisphere. Even if only one person reads my post and thinks, "hey, a novel about sky pirates sounds pretty cool, I'd read that," my mission has been accomplished. Write it, fix it, get it out there.

And now, to lunch and to begging for my job. I have no desire to return to retail, but I do have a strong desire to pay my bills and gas up the car.

I also really, really want to cross a few things off my list.

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