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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Time is not on my side

Time—or lack of it—seems to be a theme this week. One friend e-mailed how she needed a person to handle her schedule. And then there's this from Cleveland's own Carl Monday.

My problem started while I was on vacation. As we drove home my mind meandered over the many stories I want to write and the markets I'd like to pitch and the research I have to do and the books I want to read and the programs I'd like to attend and the conferences I can't miss and the places I want to travel and the people I'd like to meet with and...well you get the idea.

My goal, one day, is to be content with my life. To not feel as if I'm missing out or not quite good enough. I'm not sure I'll ever get to that point, but I suppose it's a goal worth shooting for.

Now that I've recovered from my post-vacation self-pitying rant, I'm trying to find ways to better use my time. I haven't identified any solutions, but here's what I struggle with:

How do I divide my week into time for research, pitching, reporting, writing and editing?

How do I manage the many ideas for stories and how do I keep fewer of them from slipping through the cracks?

How do I get into a regular rhythm of pitching stories so it doesn't feel so angst-ridden and unproductive?

How do I expose my work in the best way possible to attract attention and more work?

How do I find time to write for fun or enter one of the many writing contests that appear in my e-mail? And what do I do with all the pages of rules I've printed in the hopes of seriously entering?

The advice of Dr. Leo Marvin in the movie, "What About Bob?" keeps popping into my brain—"Baby steps, Wendy." Suppose I should try to take a smaller bite out of my work and see how that goes down...

Nah! That's just not me. Bring it on!


Kristin Ohlson said...

Wendy, I've spent the last two days getting absolutely nothing done-- just flittering around cyberspace, even though I have a huge list of things to do. I haven't even procrastinated in a fun way. I know from experience that sooner or later a gear will engage-- probably when my deadline is only a few days/hours away and I'm jolted into the panic zone.

For some of us, I just don't think there's ever a way to feel that we're doing enough or that we're good enough. I escape that nagging dread every once in a while, but the escape never lasts long.

So the solution-- well, not sure there is one. I think I either need to load myself up with so many deadlines that I can't fritter, or make myself walk away from the computer when I'm just paddling and actually do something. Read a book! Pull some weeds! Go to a movie in the middle of the day!

Wendy Hoke said...

Thanks for the pep talk, K. Glad to know I'm not alone. I did manage to clean my fireplace this week (including my andirons!) and I staked off a section of a my garden that needs rototilled.

Realized earlier this week that I haven't had an article published in four weeks. I'm working on a long writing project, but I've not been proactive enough about the regular stuff. Oy!

Hopefully just plugging through the week will jog me into gear.

Congrats on the Kabul Beauty School -- No. 10 on NYT Bestseller List!!