The end of last week didn’t give me much joy, just a load of bad noise which meant I didn’t do squat. Such is life. Yesterday things turned around a bit and I was able to write some stuff, but once again I’m faced with trying to fit productive work in around the cracks.
Most of my non-writing time yesterday was spent on trying to wrap my brain around how to organize the mess of work I’ve created for myself. I was talking to someone a week or so ago and mentioned that my normal habits result in a fairly predictable cycle.
Step 1: Take on a new long-term project.
Step 2: Work like hell.
Step 3: Reach a comfortable balance where I feel like I’m in control.
Step 4: Repeat from Step 1 until I have an aneurism.
Step 5: Prune my project list back to a reasonable level.
It takes between two and three months for me to run through the whole cycle. And today sees me firmly in pruning territory. Too many things on the plate, not enough time in the day, you know how it is.
One of the reasons I like talking to other writers is I rarely have to explain crap like the above. I haven’t met a single writer who hasn’t gone through this. Biting off more than we can chew seems like par for the course. In fact, I sort of wonder if the Writing Gene comes with the I Have No Goddamned Perspective trait as standard equipment.
Anyway, my goals have largely been beaten and left for dead this week. Partly my fault, partly my choice. I managed to hit my three posts a week goal for this site, but that was more luck than anything else. On the freelancing front, I got nothin’.
I’ve pretty much swept these goals out the door with a final grunt of disgust, opting instead to give myself two tasks to finish by the end of this round.
- Choose three projects to work on. One long, two short. The plan here is to work on the long or big project every day, while I work on the two short on alternate days.
- Figure out a better way to measure my progress. I’m leaning toward hours worked on the smaller projects, words written on the big one. And of course, whenever research needs to happen, I’ll track hours worked there too.
I think if I lock myself down to three projects and no more, I might be able to break the aneurism-inducing cycle I’m always trapped in.
Of course, when I dream, I also have a pony.