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Getting things done

November 22, 2009

Sometimes I sit here and wonder why I am not more productive. Aside from the fact that there are three kids in the house, doctor’s appointments to make, food to cook, a dishwasher to empty, blah blah. Why is it, when I sit down in the quiet of the night, I still don’t get a lot done?

Two reasons.

1) On my computer right now, I have Scrivener open with three projects running. My WIP, notes for a potential WIP, and the tutorial. Tweetdeck is open and blinking updates in the corner of my screen. Firefox is open with tabs for my gmail, a short story contest, an article about how it’s OK to write a crappy first draft, the TLA conference site (I have to figure out how to get my butt to TLA this year), Facebook, an Instructables page on creating a desalinator out of a dirty rag and a 2 liter bottle (oldest boychild has a science project coming up), Amazon, and WordPress.

Obviously, I should shut all that mess down, turn off the wifi and work. I know this, you know this, we all know this. This one is an easy fix… HOWEVER…

[dissonant woodwinds play in the distance]

2) I seem to write best in creative bursts. It’s been over a year that I’ve been working on a new novel, but during that time I wrote an entirely different novel in just a few months. The inspiration hit, I sat in a spot on the couch, and I wrote non-stop until I was done. I wrote two entirely different drafts of that novel in just a few months. BAM BAM BAM. Done. Sent to agent. Sold. Waiting for publication. Of course it’s a non-traditional novel – more of a graphic novel, really, depending on how my editor sees it, but still. Idea, story, writing, editing, everything – the process was incredibly fast. So it’s frustrating that something like that can happen in the midst of something else going so slowly.I want everything to come as quickly!

I think it must all come down to inspiration, excitement, that fluttery feeling you have with a new crush. I am such a happier person when I’m writing, and yet, if I force myself to do it when I’m not ready, it doesn’t make me that happy. I have a desire – a need really – for a way to sustain excitement in my projects. My life doesn’t often allow me to work at a frantic pace when inspiration hits, so sometimes the glow fades quickly as it gets lost in the doctor’s appointments and the diapers and the juice refills.

The other night I was talking about how I seem to have developed adult-onset ADD. There is always so much going on I am afraid to sit and concentrate on one thing because I’m either forgetting or ignoring or missing some other thing.

Having time to write is one thing, but finding and maintaining the thrill and the patience is another.

Do I ask for too much? Maybe I should embrace writing prompts and rely more on my brain than my muse. I don’t know.

I think there must be a more productive way to go at this, though. I just haven’t figured it out yet.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2009 9:50 pm

    When you figure it out, let me know :)
    I find each project is different for me. Some my hands can barely keep up, and others need much more coaxing from the brain.
    Oh, yeah, and turn off Twitter updates!

  2. November 23, 2009 4:32 pm

    Holy cow, I think you’re amazingly productive! And yes, you do need to get to TLA.

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