Saturday, January 2, 2016

Let it Be Resolved

I'm eating the gummy candy from my stocking. The package says "Made with real fruit juice." I'm not exactly sure what fruit went into one shaped like an ice cream cone, but the pineapple did taste like pineapple. However, if the shapes are any indication, I've also eaten a truck, an alarm clock and a saw--which tasted lemony.

You know what this means, of course. All the chocolates are gone. It must be New Year. (Or Boxing Day in the case of my kids.) Time for New Year's Resolutions.

I came across and few from The Fussy Librarian Newsletter to get me started
1. Resolve to be grateful that your job encourages the collecting of imaginary friends.
2. Refine your editing skills at the expense of negative reviews. “You’re book sucked”? Really?
3. Use social media and the Internet for marketing, not procrastinating. (Not that we ever struggle with that, boss ... ) People like Fussy want to quote your fans and tag you in posts, after all!
4. Thank those who help you, whether they’re collaborators like editors, designers, or writing group members; supporters, like loved ones and readers; or fuel for your desire to succeed, like naysayers.
Resolutions #1 and #4 are easy. I started writing to keep the imaginary friends straight in my head. Otherwise they tended to go off on tangents, dragging me along with them. If not for my support crew, my stories would still be trapped in notebooks and filling boxes instead of bookshelves. (Okay, bookshelf so far.)

Resolution #2 is a constant work in progress. From the time my sister reduced me to tears of laughter by reading exactly what I wrote on the page, I have resolved to improve my writing and editing skills. Check out my website and you will see that I am a professional copywriter, editor and designer. I've even been a micro-publisher in the past (too much paperwork). I am constantly working on improving my skills for clients and myself.

Resolution #3 is tough, but not as tough for me as some people. My procrastination activities are different.
  • Dishes and other housework. It is perfectly reasonable to want a clean house, right? Well, I only have one when I want a legitimate reason not to work on something else... usually editing my own writing.
  • Driving my kids to stuff. I am more likely to make them walk or take the bus if I'm on a roll. If I'm not, I volunteer my services.
  • Whatever work isn't as urgent as the thing I'm supposed to be doing. I'm very contrary. Whenever I'm editing (my own stuff) I have a burning desire to get ahead on Cool Canadian Crime. Whenever I have a deadline looming for CCC or another client job, I have a burning desire to get back to my WIP. 
"Stop procrastinating" is a resolution I make every year and seem to always put off. (BTW, is this blog considered writing or procrastination?)

Resolutions are great but they have a limited shelf life. It's a bit like buying all your milk on New Year's Day and expecting it to last 12 months. This year I'm going to have TO DO lists.

The TO DO list is essential if, like me, you work for multiple clients including yourself and your publishers. Some items are one-off. They especially need to be there because they are easy to get drowned in the routine tasks otherwise. Other tasks are cyclical. (Once upon a time "that time of the month" meant my period. Now it's when Crime Beat has to go out with all its associated parts.) And there are the ongoing tasks--the ones you really need to keep reminding yourself to work on.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Keep up with the chores like dishes, dusting and marketing my books.
I know I won't totally give up procrastinating but today I'll put it off until later.





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