Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30+ "Urgent" Matters That Keep Me From My Writing

Do you know who I am? I am the maniac that likes to work under pressure. I am the one who rarely finishes anything early, not merely because I have procrastinated doing it, but because every other thing in life seemed exceedingly urgent.

Now, my definition of "urgent matters" and your definition of urgent matters may differ wildly. Here are some things that, depending on the circumstance, could be deemed as an urgent matter:
  1. BBCAmerica is showing an episode of Doctor Who I have only seen once before.
  2. I told myself I was going to write a particular post for my blog.
  3. There is a conversation going on on Twitter that I believe I can contribute to.
  4. There is a book next to me, in my bag or on my nightstand that I have not yet finished.
  5. My dog is looking at me.
  6. I haven't looked at my gecko in a little while.
  7. I require chocolate.
  8. I forgot to take my medicine.
  9. Tonight is the opening night of some movie.
  10. My brother is on the phone.
  11. I've decided today is going to be mega-clean-up day.
  12. I've decided today is going to be the day where I teach myself about some new social media tool I know next to nothing about.
  13. The neighbors found a dog roaming around the neighborhood and I've decided I am going to "hang on to it" until we figure out who the psycho dog belongs to (that was last Friday).
  14. I'm going to research how to find bachelor mockingbirds some girlfriends so they don't have to chirp all night long outside our bedroom.
  15. I'm going to figure out how to actually use my slow cooker.
  16. I'm going to put all of life on hold to go to a ginormous book expo and simply forget that I am no where near healthy enough to do such a thing!
  17. BBCAmerica is showing an episode of Doctor Who I have seen many times before.
  18. Oh... wait a second... BBC America is showing Battlestar Galactica after Doctor Who and this happens every weekday from 4pm through 6pm?! Reschedule dinner time, this is extremely  urgent!!
  19. Facebook needs an update.
  20. Facebook has 20+ messages waiting for me.
  21. I must check my e-mail. 
  22. I must read more blogs.
  23. I must go back and read blogs that I started reading a long time ago.
  24. I must figure out a better way to read blogs.
  25. Very urgent! Check in on foursquare! Don't let that guy steal your one and only mayorship again!
  26. Feed the dogs. 
  27. Is it garbage day? If so, get everything out of the house!! If not, ignore everything and wait for garbage day.
  28. I bet those weeds are growing back in the backyard... Get outside.
  29. Qdoba opened up right up the block! MUST go try it!
  30. Mother-in-law invites us for dinner. Never saying no to that!
  31. I'm feeling pretty weak. I should probably do some more bicep curls with that large salsa jar.
  32. Husband is lingering near the laundry... better get some of that done.
  33. I must watch all the YouTube channels I am subscribed to, otherwise, why bother to subscribe?
  34. I'll convert my china cabinet into a bookcase (sure Mom and Dad are both flipping in their graves over that one!).
  35. I will engage the telemarketer, survey person, or whoever else randomly calls my house (particularly if they ask for one or both of my deceased parents) in a long winded conversation.
  36. I will give my gecko a bath.
  37. What I really need to do is write a really long list of all of the things that keep me from revising and editing my novel!
There are more, I am sure, but, for now, each of these things has kept me, in some way shape or form, from completing my novel. Since Camp NaNoWriMo and JuNoWriMo started at the beginning of this month, I told myself I would use this month to work on it, however, this has not happened. Every day, the "urgent matters" (and yes, some of them are actually pretty valid, like my health kicking my @$$) keep creeping up and stealing my time. Every night I go to bed asking myself Why didn't I write today? Then I got this tweet today:
@riverand How's the writing going?
— Susan Sipal (@HP4Writers) June 13, 2012
In the instant I read it, I thought, Oh no... I have no excuse! You see, Susan and I trade tweets maybe every month or so. I recall her asking me the same question last time we tweeted and I remember having big plans... As I started to write back, I stumbled upon my solution:

A deadline. So simple, even if it is completely made up and has nothing behind it but my word. Because, as I said at the beginning of this post: I am the maniac that likes to work under pressure. Unfortunately, in this writing life, right now, there is no one to apply that pressure but me! Susan's response?
@riverand Without deadlines, I'd get nothing done - even if the deadline is an artificial one that I've set.
— Susan Sipal (@HP4Writers) June 13, 2012
So glad I'm not alone...
Image Source
The deadline is set. Are you ready? My obscure date is August 17, 2012. On that day I will be done with my revisions and editing. I think that means I'll be done with beta readers, too. I want to be able to jump into the rejection pool (query time) by this Fall. I have set up a countdown on my iGoogle homepage to remind me every time I open up my computer (adding that pressure!), it looks like this:
I have 65 days. Is it enough? I. have. no. idea. But this is the only way I am going to find out, right?

Here's what I need from you guys:
  • Support, cheerleading, etc.
  • A good butt kicking every now and again.
  • A simple "@riverand How's the writing going? #deadline" tweet, to keep me accountable (or embarrassed!)
  • Volunteer beta readers for a contemporary YA novel. I'm looking for more critique over grammar/spell check - if you think you might want in, let me know!
For now, I'll just have to protect myself...

funny facebook fails - Weapons of Mass Distraction
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  1. I can so relate. I'm guilty of most of those. Only names, television shows and maybe book titles have changedcc

  2. Well this sheds a bit of light on my own procrastination list. Deadlines are a good thing to have.