December Goals

Howdy, howdy!  It’s December again (didn’t we just do this?).  Happy holidays and all that jazz!  I don’t really have anything to talk about this week and I’ve been super slacking on the writing front (and at life in general), so I thought I would take a minute to make my goals for the month known.  This way, you can heckle me until I succeed.  I know these posts are pretty boring, so I try not to do them a lot.  Apologies in advance.  But here are my goals in no particular order!

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Cute pictures are fun.

December Goals:

1. Submit stuff 10 times (2 every Monday).  I’ve consistently submitted two stories a week all year long.  Granted, it wasn’t always on Mondays, but it got done even when I really didn’t feel like it.  I’m super proud of that.  Now, I just have to keep it up the rest of this month and do it all over again next year.

2. Revise more of LR.  Revising has been beyond slow and I have no one and nothing to blame but myself.  I love the story and I’m excited about it, but I can’t get into a good rhythm with the revisions.  I get into it a few days then can’t bring myself to open the files for a while.  It’s weird.

3. Read 2 books.  Actually, I need to finish two books (at least) this month.  I started them both last month.  When I got the okay on The Razor, I stopped in the middle of European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman.  There was just no way for me to finish both last month.  And I decided to start this month’s review book before I finish European Travel.  I somehow clumped too many long books together and it’s thrown my whole reading schedule off, but I’m past my goal for the year, so it’s okay.

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The lazy voices in my head often enable me by telling the productive ones to shut up.

4. Make time for people.  It’s just really hard to talk to people when I like being a recluse so much.  Luckily, around the holidays, I randomly text people to wish them well and usually end up chatting with a few of them.  It’s the only time of year I’m not a completely shitty friend!

5. Decide on a couple of days to go through my files and tidy everything up.  I seriously need to do this.  I used to know exactly where every song, picture, and file was on my computer.  Now, I can’t find half the stuff I go looking for.  It’s a mess.

6. Start ripping old CDs to my computer.  A few months ago, I got a new radio because my 60 disc player stopped working.  Do you know how hard it is to find a new 60+ disc player that is it’s own stereo, not a component to a make-your-own stereo system?  Impossible.  In other words, I have a bunch of CDs that I need to transfer to my computer so I can play my old favorites and annoy the crap out of Dad.

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Okay, I have that one on my computer, but this made my smile.

7. Attack the slush pile.  I’ve been sporadic with my first reader duties over at Pseudopod.  I need to buckle down and help get through this period’s submissions.  It’s always a fun experience.

Those are my goals.  What about you?  Do you have any stuff you want to focus on this month?  Feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

How To Survive The First Few Days After An Election

Hello, hello!  By the time this post gets published, America will have a new president (or at least be in the final stages of deciding).  If you’re anything like me, you didn’t like any of the candidates and you’re beyond tired of hearing about them and seeing their faces splashed all over your social media sites.  But today, and for the foreseeable future, you’ll only have to deal with one of them.  That means for the rest of the week (until something else distracts everyone), your social media will be full of the winner’s supporters bragging and the loser’s supporters complaining (because there’s no such thing as a graceful win or loss in this election).  So, how are we, the ones with nothing important to say on the matter, supposed to survive until the next big thing comes along to distract everyone?  Here are three handy tips to help you keep your sanity.

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That’s what I’ve been struggling with myself.

 1. Snuggle up with Netflix or your DVR/TiVo or a book, etc.  I’m not going to tell you to avoid social media altogether, but make sure you temper your exposure with healthy doses of entertainment.  Netflix has the advantage of avoiding all things annoying simply by clicking play.  Or just read a book if you prefer something besides screen time.  If you want to watch TV or the news, do yourself a favor and record it, that way you can skip through the things you want to avoid while keeping up with everything else.  You can do the same with a newspaper or magazine.  There are ways to stay informed without being over-exposed to certain things.

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Watch another episode!  Don’t be a quitter.

 2. Do all the things!  You know that stuff you’re supposed to be doing when you’re scrolling through Facebook?  Now is the perfect time to do all of it.  Do the laundry.  Clean the kitchen.  Catch up on your NaNo writing.  You can be productive and avoid the post-election uproar all at once.  Truth be told, I’m actually avoiding the last of the pre-election voter smugness (I’m happy you’re happy you voted, don’t get me wrong, but some people take it too far when they think it makes them and their candidate of choice superior) by writing this post.

3. Surround yourself with cute animals.  There’s never a wrong time to look at cute little animals.  If you’re into cat videos, the Internet is rife with them.  Dogs are everywhere too.  You can find bats and birds and even adorable snakes.  It’s all just a search away.  Who can stay annoyed when looking at those kawaii wittle faces.  Even I get happy when faced with the cuteness of doom.

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It’s a Dapper Danger Noodle!
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Look at those big eyes!  Batties are adorable!

 I’m sure there are other ways to maintain your sanity over the next few days, but this is what I will be doing.  Do you have any plans or tips for avoiding the insanity of it all?  I suppose being a recluse is the most helpful thing during these times.  Stay safe and sane.

See you next week.

Productive Procrastination: Just Go With It

Hello, hello!  It’s been a slow couple of weeks writing-wise.  I’ve been re-reading Garnets and Guardians in preparation for another round of edits (it really shouldn’t have taken me two weeks to get through it, but I was lazy and not so productively procrastinating).  At the same time, Dad was doing a deep clean of the house and, when it came down to the last room or so, he started doing everything except cleaning what he said he was going to (he did the laundry, ran errands, put knobs and pulls on some cabinets and drawers, etc.).  When I picked on him for procrastinating, he denied it because he was doing things that needed to be done.  That’s exactly what productive procrastination is: doing things that need to be done eventually instead of what you’re supposed to be doing.  Apparently we all do it, not just writers.  I felt much better about myself when I realized that.

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It’s kind of like when you realize everyone poops.  You’re not a freak anymore.  And yes, this is a real children’s book.

 I know writers who clean their house or run errands or answer emails when they’re supposed to be writing.  I tidy up my computer files when I’m desperate to avoid writing.  I also volunteer to read for people when I’m looking for a break.  There are all kinds of ways to avoid what you’re supposed to be doing when you have other stuff to focus on.  I know some people who keep busy by working on a short story or two instead of the novel they’re in the middle of writing.  I’m supposed to start edits on G&G today, but I might just write a ten minute play instead.  Sometimes, the brain insists you do something else.  That’s okay.

Productive procrastination plays two important roles in life.  First, it gives you a well-deserved break while keeping you from feeling guilty for not doing something that needs to be done.  Sitting around and binge watching Netflix instead of writing feels like a no-no, but fold the laundry while you’re doing it and suddenly it’s not so bad.  And second, it gives us the motivation to do all the little things no one really wants to do.  I didn’t really want to do my checkbook the other day, but I didn’t want to read G&G again even more, so guess which one got done first.  It forces us to prioritize things.

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Exactly.

 Eventually, you’ll run out of things that are less painful than whatever you’re supposed to be doing, or you’ll realize you have a deadline looming, and you’ll suck it up and do the thing.  If not, then whatever it was wasn’t that important to you in the first place.  As long as you’re getting something done, take it as a win.  Yeah, I feel guilty when I don’t get my writing or edits or whatever done, but as long as I did something important in its place, I’m happy.  Every task completed during procrastination is one less thing you have to worry about the next day.  Enjoy it.

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Embrace the productivity.

Are you a productive procrastinator?  How do you decide when enough is enough and you should do the thing you’re supposed to do?  Is there a method to your procrastination or do you simply do whatever pops to mind first?  Feel free to share your words of advice with us.

See you next week!