For this session of ROW80 my focus has to be toward working more to a schedule. I'm retired, sold the house and rent, don't watch a lot of TV or play video games, single, with enough income that I don't need to be a Wal-Mart greeter. All to say my days are pretty well my own to fill as I please. Lately it seems most of my choices are driven by procrastination. Which means while I may be eager to go for a walk, read a book, sit with friends over a beer, or do some Flash Fiction, I'm avoiding things like editing, vacuuming, and taxes.
I'm not sure if I can go from almost no schedule to a military precision, with every minute accounted for. And I'm not sure I really should. I do know one of my traps is late nights. Starts with late afternoon coffee, then a couple of glasses of wine in the evening, browsing Facebook and blogs, trips to the fridge for munchies. Then a late start to the next day. So - I'll work at this. Aside from trying for better hours, I'm thinking some fixed tasks in the day and some variable timing on others would be easier for me to accept. For example, editing is best done at my PC, early in the day. Reading books or catching up on blogs can be done at a park or cafe, later on. And I'll need to keep a daily record of what does actually get done, and when. For me only, don't worry, I won't burden you with that level of detail.
So - goals. As mentioned the other day, a local book fair got me pumped up again. I won't say my goal is to be a writer - already am one. My goal is to be a published author. Which means I have to work at it, treat if like a profession. Another goal is to get healthier - mentally is pretty good, physically needs some work. After all this work to retire, I'd like to be around for a while to enjoy it. A third goal, a not very exciting one, is to keep all the details of life under control, things like the vacuuming, the taxes.
Based on these goals, I'll have a stab at a list of SMART objectives for the next 80 days. I'll arrange in three main areas, the intent being to at least get some done from each area, if not always all. Hours estimated in brackets after tasks.
Writing (6 3/4)- not just writing every day (flash fiction and/or novels) but editing what I've written, and working to become a better writer. This includes reading about writing - books and blogs - as well as networking with other writers.
- Editing (2) - this will be a fixed early morning task. Hopefully 2 hrs worth.
- Due North. Finish first pass edit. Have gone through and added margin notes, now am making the actual changes online. Have about 315 double-spaced pages, right now I'm at page 80.
- Due North 2 - sequel. About 260 pages. Need to clean up synopsis and notes for each scene, print, revise, type in changes. Would like to finish this too - will see how far my 2 hrs a day gets me.
- Writing (1) - for this session, this will be Flash Fiction stories. Takes me about 3 hrs to do one of these, counting outlining, so two a week means an hour a day writing. This can be a mix of fixed and variable timing.
- Publishing (1/4)
- Short Stories (1/4) - I'd like to get some of my Flash Fiction out there more - both online and in print. Most sites want original work, but I'd want to rework my stories before sending in anyway. I could take them down while in submission too. Good market survey from Flash Fiction Chronicles, so will use that as a guide and aim to send in one a week.
- Fairy Tale Folk (?)- I've 16 done is this series so far, I'd like to pull them together into a collection. Would start with a spreadsheet to track characters, their traits, their development, this would help with subsequent stories too. And - if time permits - start editing. Not a high priority this round, will keep as a fun thing to do after finished 'work' for the day.
- Learning/sharing (3 1/2)
- Blogs (1) - have 48 RSS subscriptions. Yikes, no wonder I fall behind. OK, first task then is going to be to track them all for a week and rate them. Will have to drop a few, unfortunately. Often have to do this on PC, as some sites won't let me comment via iPad reader. I use Feeddler.
- Facebook (1/2) - in the ROW80 group, as well as three others - Ottawa Writers, Creative Writing Circle, and NaNoWriMo Ottawa. Manageable so far.
- Podcasts - have set up a few, mostly on writing. I can follow these while walking or cooking.
- Reading (2) - non-fiction, to entertain and learn. Fiction - ditto.
Health (1 1/2) - not a lot of time, but needs to be a main item.
- Walking (1) - not that easy in a heat wave, but can be an evening activity too. With podcasts on iPhone (see above). Will aim for 10,000 steps.
- Exercise/sports (1/2) - not a big sports person. For now, have a small book from a friend, with a series of yoga exercises designed to be run through in 15 minutes, in the morning. Plus back exercise I only remember to do if it gets sore.
- Diet - Hope to get some of this walking past some local markets, Hard to be creative when cooking for one, but easier when you can buy just enough for a meal. And stay on the lighter beer and less of it.
- Schedules - hopefully this will be healthy addition too.
Chores (2) - the boring stuff. I think I need a job jar for myself and do some every day. Things like cleaning, laundry, shopping. And those taxes again. And it would help if I walked around after myself and picked things up!
OK - lets see how this goes. I have over 10 hours laid out so far, so my first impulse is to run away. Did a lot of Canada Day celebrating yesterday, so today started pretty late. It's mid afternoon already, but I do have the laundry almost done. I do need to driop by my local later, as today is the first day for the ban on patio smoking.