My to-do list is odd and complex. It’s not clear what should demand attention first or second, and what should be left until later. There are a few things with deadlines, some sooner, some later. Other projects are ongoing, and it’s very easy to put off working on them even though I need to keep making progress toward either an ongoing or far-off goal.
I have a long background in teaching. I started helping my mother teach Scottish Highland Dance when I was twelve, and I got my own teaching credentials at sixteen. In the early 2000’s I taught various Microsoft Office products such as Excel and Access. I still use both, especially the spreadsheets, in my writing. I’ve urged my dance students to practice a little every day, or at least several times a week, since that’s the best way to improve. I’ve nagged my Spreadsheets & Databases students to turn in homework on time.
One of the big struggles that we hope our teenagers will learn to overcome is how to manage a homework assignment that requires them to parcel out their time and work on it a little each day. Many young humans go on to —and through— college without ever learning this.
I know how to do this. But implementing the strategy is still difficult.
The two most important items, each of which has an approaching deadline, are to finish formatting my interview with Jason Dias for Friday and to upload Hippie Freaks for publication. The full moon is June 20. (Any resemblance Jason bears to a hippie is entirely coincidental, yet somewhat fortuitous for me.)
The next items are commitments I’ve made to others. I need to write interview questions for a friend who is doing a “filler” interview for me that I can post any week that I suddenly find myself without a regularly scheduled interview. I’m beta reading for another friend. I need to reach out to the next interviewee on my list and see if we can meet up in person before I write their questions. (I’m currently doing a lot of interviews with local authors, of which there is a huge community in Colorado Springs.)
I have a book to read before mid July for the book club at my local library. (Moloka’i by Alan Brennert) and a micro-short autobiographical piece for the writing group at church.
Promo is a different beast. Although part of me wants to place the back of my hand against my forehead and whine “Alas, there is no more I can do!” I know that’s not true. Little things like making memes with my covers and doing fictional blog posts for The Cities of Luna do help, even in a small way. There’s always a chance that one will catch on and go viral. I’m also hoping to reach out further with my interviews, and talk to a few astronauts or others in the space program. It’s something I think my readers will find interesting.
Of course, this is just a part of my writer’s to-do list, and I haven’t even mentioned actual writing yet. Real life has its own set of demands that must be faced.
I think my biggest challenge is to not let the little things get pushed off to the back burner too often or for too long. My second challenge is the shrug off the guilt that seems to creep in no matter what I decide to work on. The third is to keep myself from getting sidetracked with the things that are not at all productive.
July is just a couple of weeks away. It will be round three of the year for A Round of Words in 80 Days, and it will be Camp NaNoWriMo. I do NaNo in November every year, but I’ve never done summer camp. I’m looking forward to it! I’m going to finish The Beekeeper’s Mother, the next urban fantasy novella in my Lillie Lane series.
My ROW80 goals this round are to write 3 days a week (barely) and to get ready for July.
It’s time to put the pedal to the metal.
Wish me luck, and cross your fingers that I don’t crash and burn.