As most of you know (I hope), I’m making some changes in the new year. I’ve had to eliminate some things (good things) from my schedule to make time for the better things (namely my novel, which is my career dream).
While I’m still writing for a couple of local papers (writing features, which allow me to tell people’s stories), I’m also trying to break into some larger markets (and finish that stinkin’ novel). In order to do that, however, I need to make even more changes. For instance, I must set boundaries. It’s time to get tough (no more Mrs. Nice Girl – I’m crackin’ the whip!).
I have three strategies. Wanna hear ’em? Too bad…I write the blog, I can do what I want.
#1 – Set a Schedule: For the past year I’ve gone anywhere, anytime for an interview. While this is great for the story, it’s a time killer. It can take me 40 minutes to get to the interview, 30 minutes for the interview, and another 40 minutes home. That’s almost two hours invested in a story before I write a single word.
My plan is to make it to TC 2-3 days a week. If I can’t fit an interview into those times, then I’ll have to do it by phone. I hate to sound like a witch, but right now my most valuable commodity is time. I need to make sure I’m using it as wisely as possible to promote every aspect of my writing, not just the local stories. So that’s that.
#2 – It’s actually the same as #1, but for a different reason. Gas has now reached $3.20/gallon where I live. My husband drives 40 minutes to work (one way) Monday – Thursday. That’s a lot of gas money. Add to that my (almost daily) trips for 30 minute interviews and it’s really eating a hole in my pocketbook. We need to conserve, and one of the ways we can do that is by me filling my schedule better. Thus, rule #1 becomes rule #2.
#3 – It’s time to return to my OCD roots. For those of you who haven’t been blessed to meet my dad, you’re missing out. He’s one of my heroes. I inherited a lot from him, including his OCD tendencies. My husband has beaten most of those into submission (with his clutter, not his fists), but I still prefer the tidy side of life.
I can’t control my husband’s messes, and sometimes I don’t have the time (or energy) to clean my house as well as I’d like, but I can definitely clean up my schedule. I work the best (and feel the best) when I have time every day to spend with God, work out, write, and work around the house. The problem is that the house work and interviews tend to suck up a lot of time, so I start cutting things out. Before I know it, I’m spending all day running errands, cleaning the house, and working on interviews. Far too often I don’t exercise, I barely say hi to God, and nothing gets written on the novel. That’s gotta stop. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to organize my week, but I’m going to do it. I’ll let you know (as soon as I know) what it’ll look like.
So that’s the continuance of my 2011 plan. I have high hopes!
QUESTION: What are your high hopes?