Work · Writing

A Small Victory

I don’t know if I talked about this on here, but I’ve joined a writer’s group a while ago. We meet monthly at someone’s house, and read/critique each others’ works for a few hours on a nice relaxing Saturday. (Yep, totally relaxing, not nervous at all, especially if I’m the one that needs to be submitting next month, nope.) It’s not a class, so you don’t have to submit anything if you don’t want to. There’s no grading or expectations and most of us are amateurs. (It’s run by my author friend so she’s kind of the unofficial authority, but not really. She makes it a point to say it’s not her writers’ group, just a group she’s part of.) We basically let strangers read our works and collectively try to make them better, and chat and have food and just be social for a bunch of introverts. That’s it.

So we’re meeting next week (for the month of October) and I volunteered to submit a chapter of my novel. I partially did this because, well, I should, and also, I’ve been so, so, so procrastinating and haven’t worked on my novel at all for the past months due to one thing or another, and I need to get this damn draft done by hopefully end of this year. I need to revise the entire chapter before I can send it in, because the state it was was definitely not complete nor made any sense in context to the novel now, since it was written way before I figured out what the book was about and etc. It was daunting and scary, so I kept putting off working on it until literally this week, when the deadline to submit was yesterday. Yes, I’m a bad person for giving myself undue stress and for procrastinating. I fully acknowledge my fault here.

But you know what, in the end I did it. I worked a lot in the few days prior, basically ate, slept, worked, you know, like how most people’s days go and why American work ethics are insane (most not by choice.) And it was done, edited, not perfect, but submitted in an adequate state. And really, that’s all you can ask for, no? I emailed it to my group at 11:00 pm last night, an hour before the deadline (we have to enforce a deadline because people were like dropping 30 pages of work a few days before our meeting and that just wasn’t productive). And in addition the few days of hard work had kicked me into gear. Remember I said the more productive I am the more productive I get? Yeah, and now I actually feel like I have to write every day. Not necessarily on the novel – I need breaks, too – but some kind of writing daily. So all in all, this experience was a win. A hard win, but a win. Which was kind of why I signed up to submit this time in the first place. I know how to make myself do things, if slowly.

I don’t get many victories where I work hard and actually get things done on time in what feels like an acceptable condition. So I will definitely go celebrate today, as small a victory as this is. Perhaps I’ll buy a new book.


Productivity Begets More Productivity

So I did not get much done this week, which sucks. Partly because I got a little bit sick mid-week and decided to take it easy so it won’t bloom into this massive cold, and between rounds of Zycam and vitamin C and hot tea I managed to wrangle it back so I’m more or less functional. I think I’m going to take the pills for one more day before calling it quits – Zycam doesn’t really work that well after a few days I think, because the period of minimizing cold symptoms would’ve passed by then. Anyway, that’s a lame excuse. I could’ve worked and do some light-brain-power work, such as laundry, but I didn’t, so I sucked this week.

However, I did find out, or rather find more proof of what my therapists had been telling me about my productivity pattern all this time, and that is that the more productive I am the more productive I become. If I start off the day just lounging in bed I would more likely to just lounge in bed for the rest of the day. If I don’t do work (can’t concentrate, too many distractions, just lazy and procrastinating) or keep putting off work it’s likely I will never do any work as the day goes by. I’m not sure if everyone experience this, but I suspect a good majority of people do? The thing that’s different for me is that, if I start the day doing things – anything not fun, really, calling doctors, making appointments, vacuuming, etc. – I tend to want to do more things once I finish that thing. It’s like a weird momentum thing. If I can prove myself I can do ONE thing, maybe then I can do the NEXT thing, no matter how scary it is. And really I don’t understand why it’s so scary in the first place, but a lot of irrational things scare our brains. Sometimes you just got no choice but take the plunge.

I’m going to apply this to today. No matter what I will not waste time just chilling. Even when I play I need to make sure I play the “right” thing (so actually play a game on my backlog instead of randomly browsing reddit or Youtube, for instance.) Of course I have stuff I NEED to work on that I’ve been putting off, but no more. If I just keep doing things and crossing them off the list then more things will get done and get crossed off the list, right? At least I hope so.


BuJo to the Rescue

Can I just give a shout-out to the Bullet Journal method? Like, seriously, if I didn’t incorporate it into my life I would’ve gone crazy these past months. Note in point: this week, when I realized I had no idea when a lot of my essential doctor appointments are and called to find out I actually have one NEXT WEEK when I thought it’s a couple of months away. And just today, when what I put down on my task list as “organize mail” only to realize that it’s a HUGE project and then proceeded to break it down to many, many smaller steps, so it looks more manageable, and totally explained why I’ve been putting it off for so long because subconsciously my brain was freezing up whenever I thought of it, because what I thought was one step turned out to be 10+ steps.

Oh hi there, yes, I’ve been missing from the blogosphere. Yes, I suck a bit when it comes to organizing and working and updating and, sigh. Anyways, no excuses, just determination to do better.

I’m also feeling a tiny bit under the weather today so I’ve just been relaxing and doing non-brain-taxing work (or rather minimal brain-taxing work. Novel is not going to rewrite itself, again!). So what better time to regroup, take a bunch of Zycam and vitamin C, and just do all those chores I’ve been putting off, eh?