In my January 1st post, “My Favorite Day of the Year,” I mentioned that I’m a fan of the first Monday of the year–which was a week ago today. First Monday is when I begin to implement all those shiny new promises I made to myself.
I think I got carried away.
I can’t really complain about the first week–it went pretty well–but there is no way on God’s green earth that I can do all the things I told myself I would do. Somethin’s gotta give, and the first thing on the list to “give” is the idea of writing a short story a week.
I don’t know how I found Emily Wenstrom’s post, “How to Write a Story a Week,” but I did find it, and I took it as a personal challenge, because some part of me–some over-achiever side to me that really should know better by now–figured it would be fun. And besides, Emily made it sound so easy.
My resolve to meet the challenge has butt up against others’ resolve to get their manuscripts edited at the first of the year, and I’ve been blessed to be one of the editors in demand. I love it, and I’m definitely not complaining, but it doesn’t leave much time to dedicate to my WIPs, much less develop a new one a week. Still, I did start one last week, and I like it, so maybe the Write a Story a Week challenge can shift to a story a month.
Another promise I made to myself (notice how I refuse to call it a New Year’s resolution?) was to read more this year. Currently, I’m reading Katie Weiland’s Storming and another someone recommended to me, Paul Bishop’s Lie Catchers. My reading goals, however, have butt up against the fact that we have a new member to our family for whom I started making a baby blanket months ago–and haven’t finished yet. I’ve been trying to finish it, which cuts into my reading time, so I’ve been trying to stay up later to read–but I’ve been waking up around 3 lately (seriously??? What’s with that?), so by the time I’ve dealt with the day and settled in read, I fall asleep by the end of the page.
Getting up at three has helped considerably with other resolutions–my Bible study, for instance. Creating my Twitter ads. Writing posts for the four blogs I’m on. Playing on Facebook.
By the way, in case you didn’t notice, I have cut my Facebook time down considerably in an effort to give myself more time for other things. It helps. (Another BTW: if you’re not following me on Facebook, please do. I have a fun page. You might like it.)
So let’s recap:
- Write a story a week
- Work on my two WIPs (sorely neglected last week)
- Read more
- Finish baby blanket
- Edit for clients
That doesn’t count the four blogs I mentioned or creating and scheduling the ads for my books. Nor does it include daily responsibilities to the hubs, house, writing groups, and church/community. Doesn’t count monthly visits to Mom (one of which is coming up soon). Doesn’t count little surprises that come out of nowhere and bite into my time.
All this leads me to a startling conclusion: New Year’s Resolutions fail not from lack of effort on my part, but because I believe I can magically add more hours to the day. Or I can–after 58 solid years of evidence to the contrary–obtain superpowers to pack the hours I have with even more activities.
Which leads me to another conclusion: I must be out of my mind.
I’m an overachiever too and also a procrastinator. Do those two even go together? 🙂 Anyway, Linda, I totally understand. One thing I know we can’t be too hard on ourselves and trust that we will follow the Lord’s leading.
Isn’t that an awful combination–overachiever and procrastinator? I bet you’re like me, you prefer the panic and adrenaline rush of getting things done within moments of the deadline. 😀
Thanks for your comment, Janetta. God bless!
I gave up resolutions years ago (maybe that’s part of the wisdom that comes with age.) I don’t even determine my writing goals for the coming year. Life is full with its twists and turns. I tend to give myself new challenges without pre-thought so when I do stop and consider what I’ll occupy myself with in the coming months, I’m surprised because there are goals in place that I never made a conscious decision to seek as something to stive toward. Does that make sense?
Makes perfect sense!
I sure understand. My retirement didn’t give as much writing / reading time as I envisioned. Hubby, deservedly wants more time with me, and we share all the chores. I sometimes think our predecessors may have had it right, dedicating one day a week to different tasks. Great grandma had washing day, baking day, town day etc. Not sure if it would actually work as well today, but thinking of trying a similar approach. It might help with focus and stress. I think I’ll kick it around a bit and try a modern version. A half day each?
Good luck on your organization goals, Linda. And, if you do find that magic solution, you will share, right? 😉
I’ve tried both ways–doing it all at once, with the hopes of having the rest of the week to myself, and doing a little each day: “a chore a day, and then I can play!” was my motto them. Since my illness kicked in, though, I discovered that I have more time if I don’t do chores at all (something I’m trying to change this year). Cleaning only when it needs it instead of on some sort of schedule is nice, but “when it needs it” tends to be subjective.
I’m counting on my new vacuum cleaner to help. It’s super-light and easy to maneuver, meaning I can actually clean the whole house without wearing myself out like I did with the old one.
Wait–how did we get off on housework? ACK!
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Snicker. I nearby give both of us a half day to do whatever we want, not what we have to do, but what we want to do the most. 😁
Yikes! Hereby! Not use to this small screen on this tablet. Sigh. No need to mention proof reading BEFORE hitting send.
Giggle!!!! I was wondering what you meant by “nearby”! Anyway, I accept the decree!
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I would laugh if this didn’t sound disturbingly familiar. I was probably a wee bit overambitious this year myself. We’re only eleven days in, and I’m already alarmingly behind schedule. I think we need a recovery group. :p
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The kind of recovery group that will train us not to make promises to ourselves for 2017?