Prioritizing is an Art Form

wrongwayroad.jpgAnd I am no artist.

It’s the 10th day of the year and I’m already (way) behind on my to-do list. This does not bode well, but I’m going to cut myself some slack for once. The first week of the month, I played with my granddaughter and goofed off. What’s the point of being retired if I can’t have some fun?

Then, I made a promise to myself to edit the first draft of my novel before doing any reading for fun. I kept the promise for a whole a week, but I caved in last night and began reading the latest Stephen King novel, Sleep Doctor. I got it for Christmas and I was going crazy seeing it just sitting there – unopened. I try to ration myself, but my addictive personality will undoubtedly take over and I will devour Mr. King’s novel before finishing mine.  It’s all his fault for messing up my schedule.

I hope that one day soon, people will blame me for sucking up their free time and messing up their schedule. Because they just can’t put my book down, don’t ya know  😉   Of course, I have to finish my re-write before that can happen..

Right now my writer’s confidence is at an all-time low. This happens every time I go to edit and re-write a story. I have notes of things I need to go back to and things to add or fix. My re-write of the first few chapters is not going as planned and I’m frustrated. This, of course, makes me doubt, fret and feel foolish enough to give up on the story.

Not this story, however. The story’s idea is solid – that I am still confident about. It just needs a lot of work. A horrific amount of work, and I discover more work as I go. That is overwhelming  me because I wanted the novel to be finished by January 16th.  My frustration stems from my impatience. I want it to be finished. NOW. I want to start editing my next novel, that has been “fermenting” in a drawer for a year.

I have to wonder if this is normal thinking for a writer, or if I need therapy. Could therapy could help me learn to balance my time, energy and drive? I pull myself in so many directions that I don’t know what to do first. I want to piece a new quilt, organize my office, catch up on correspondence, crochet some new projects. Lose 25-30 pounds as I eat healthier and exercise more. While writing novel after novel. And then there’s the housework I can’t ignore forever, and then, there’s the IRS.  [Large, exasperated sigh here]

Is this too much to ask from myself?  Not at all!  Unless I try all of this in one month. Which I was doing – until last night. My hubby, of all people, gave me a wonderful idea. My cuddly, smart and handsome man! Who does not write, is not organized himself at all, thought up the answer to my predicament. I’m so relieved that I am not even jealous.

My January 16th “due date” for my novel to be ready, was so dear Aunt Kitty could have it on her 90th birthday, is not going to be. What hubby suggested is to give her the first chapter, and promise to send her the next one within a couple of weeks or so. That way I am motivated to keep editing and she can keep reading it (and hopefully give me feedback as well).

Damn.

Why didn’t I think of that? Probably because while I should be editing chapter 1,  I am telling y’all about it, sipping coffee, and to be totally honest – still in my pajamas. My brain is no longer organized, if it ever really was, since I retired. It’s a darn good thing that I don’t have to go to work anymore.   🙂

J

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