• Writing

    the to-do list goes ever on

    I opened up Workflowy and Skedpal on Sunday and discovered, to my horror, that I hadn’t logged into Workflowy since FEBRUARY. That’s how far behind I am.

    The good news was most of the February stuff was done…? :}

    Anyway, I basically spent Monday afternoon doing triage and figuring out what needed to be done and when and trying to lay out a vaguely realistic schedule for the next couple months. Of course, some of the realism of it requires me getting up to work at 6am, and so far this week I haven’t, so that may require some re-thinking, but basically I’ve got five projects on the ball and there’s a lot of juggling going on, to mix my metaphors.

    I got a *lot* of the administrative side of things done over the past two days, though, and I’ll do more tomorrow, which will put me quite close to wrapping two of those five projects up. That said, because of the work-then-wait aspects of both of them, neither is likely to be done before the end of June, or pretty near to it, anyway. Still, it puts them MUCH CLOSER to done, and that’s a big and wonderful deal right now.

    Oh, she said in surprise, going over her schedule, it looks like I was really wise and actually only scheduled FOUR things to deal with over the next two months. That was clever. So once these administrative aspects are dealt with (aspects which I am now eager to finish tomorrow, if I can!), I’m home free for writing a synopsis and then putting together a book proposal. Ah, excellent, what a wise and clever Kit I am.

    (Nevermind the huge looming pile of things to do when these ones are handled. We are taking this One Bird At A Time Comma Dammit.)

  • CEMurphy

    theoretically ideal

    I went to bed around 10 last night and, not at all to my delight, woke up at 10 to 6. I lay around for a while sullenly considering that this was, in fact, the ideal I’m nominally going for: earlyish to bed, early to rise, get some work done before bringing Indy to school and all that.

    Except not on a Sunday, dammit.

    Anyway, I got up after half an hour or so and spent a couple hours getting increasingly tired while working on an e-book layout, and I’ve concluded that probably if I can do this on a weekday basis, having to interrupt the work flow to bring Indy to school and then take myself to the gym is EXACTLY what I’ll need in order to keep myself going through the morning and into the afternoon. I don’t know what I’ll do about the almost-inevitable 2pm slump (the obvious answer here would be ‘go for a walk’) but given the sleepiness cycle, I’d say yeah, this would probably be Just About Right.

    Assuming I manage to get to bed right around 10pm ALMOST ALL THE TIME. Well, Catie, who’s responsible for that, then, *hmmm*? (Of course, if I get into the habit of the gym, for the first several weeks at least I’m going to be so exhausted that I may fall asleep by 10 whether I mean to or not…)

    I went into the bookstore the other day and there are so many books I want to read and I’ve got so much work to do before I can read any of them. *cries* Also my houseguest is TEMPTING me, TEMPTING ME, I SAY, to watch s5 Orphan Black this Thursday & Friday (the first days of school) and I’m being Drawn Into Temptation. Which means I have to finish up this e-book (which is waiting on cover art and also on me figuring out which button to press to tell it to clean up unused code) and do another set of copy edits by Thursday, which really isn’t anything like impossible. It just seems like a lot, somehow.

    I was telling someone at Worldcon that I’m basically five years behind in my reading schedule, so pretty much if you had a book come out in 2012 I’m right on it! But I’d like to be reading a little closer to the present. Moop. So I’ve got KSR’s new book, and I still haven’t read Ian MacDonald’s Luna books and really want to, and I have the second two Anne Lyle (hello, 2012) books to read, and there’s another Long Earth book out, and I’m *desperate* to read Emma Newman’s Planetfall books, and I have (HELLO, 2012) a Carol Berg duology to read, and those are just what I can think of off the top of my head without checking the TBR shelf, much less going into the bookstore again. *flails* So if I get my edits and things done I’m going to read SOMETHING over the weekend.

    (*pauses to check how many books I’ve read from this year’s TBR shelf. 10 of the 41 I’ve read this year, which isn’t bad, actually. It leaves me with 13 fiction books on the TBR shelf, assuming I don’t bounce off any of them. Also, 41 books, while not BRILLIANT, isn’t bad for the year so far.)

    I better go finish this e-book.

  • Daily Life

    fitness & writing

    A while ago Ted said I had the kind of work/life balance that most people really dreamed of. That I had this incredibly rewarding creative *job* that I love passionately and then on top of that I had all these completely amazing HOBBIES that I’m actually quite good at and that most people would try to have as part of their ‘life’ balance around the, you know, job as a cop or whatever.

    That made me reel a bit, because I never think I have a very good work/life balance. I’m…extremely focused, shall we say. When I’m working. It’s all or nothing, and honestly, it works really well for me. And then in my down time I don’t–I often don’t even *think* to–pursue the hobbies I’d like to.

    (Excuse me while I suddenly take a moment to prioritize them, just for my own clarification: photography, art, sewing. Not necessarily in that order, but those are the three things I think I’d really like to *do*, in my down time. And reading, although I don’t consider reading a *hobby*.)

    Anyway, so the point is I don’t think of myself as being especially balanced in the work/life sense. And I was having a really intense think about this last night with regards to fitness in particular, because, as I said, I do this extreme All Or Nothing thing, and working out really kind of needs to be consistent.

    A Problem is that if I do the kind of 60-90 minute workout that I enjoy, then with the bus ride to the gym and back again, I’m looking at a really solid 3 hour block out of my day. And that’s too much in my All Or Nothing work mindset. (Especially when there’s a specific Child In School window I’ve got to work with. It’d be less of an issue if the bus started running at 6am, but it doesn’t start until 9. And of course 6am assumes I’d get up and go to the gym, which…well. Sometimes it happens. It helps if I GO TO BED by 10pm, which I far too often don’t do. ANYWAY. :))

    So I was trying to figure out how to deal with that. I was thinking, well, if I bring Indy to school and then RUN for the bus I MIGHT catch it downtown–except realistically I won’t, because school and the bus circuit start at the same time and we don’t usually drop Indy off until just before the morning bell. But it did occur to me that there’s a bus stop…not necessarily closer to his school, but more to the point, farther on the bus route than at its start point, which might mean I could go from the school to the Other Stop and get there just in time to be taken to the gym. I’m going to go run an experiment on this as soon as I’ve gotten dressed this morning.

    And then the other thing that struck me was that I just have to bust my ass and do a 40 minute workout instead of a 90 minute one so I can catch the next bus home (they’re hourly). Because, I mean, obviously 5 40 minute workouts a week will do me a lot more good than zero 90 minute ones.

    The other thing I really flat out should do to make this work is go to bed at 10. That makes getting up between 6 and 6:30 an option (at least, that’s what I do left to my own devices on a Writing Retreat), so I can roll out of bed into the office and get 60-90 minutes of work done before the Getting Ready For School process starts in the house. My *entire day* is enormously more satisfying and productive if I get work done before 8am, because I always feel like “look how much I got done already! I can do ANYTHING by noon!” when I get work done early.

    (Which, *twitch*. See, this is why a morning workout makes me twitchy, because it’s Interrupting That Flow, but the flip side of it is I’VE MET ME and if I do not do *something* to prioritize exercise I’ll stay at the desk all day long because “I’ve gotten so much done if I just stay another hour I’ll get SO MUCH MORE DONE” and then it’s 7pm and that ain’t it, kid. And also, who are we kidding, school ritual interrupts it anyway so I should work with reality to as great a degree as possible.)

    (This post brought to you by the True Beginning Of The Year, and the Attempt To Create A Schedule Around It.)

  • CEMurphy

    a-journaling we go

    I’m participating in displacement activities, pretending that organizing a bunch of stuff will get my work done. Obviously I know that’s not how it works, but hey, I’m doing it anyway.

    I asked for this perfectly gorgeous blank book for my birthday (and obviously recieved it):

    but had no actual specific use for it in mind. I’ve been prodding at habit trackers but basically don’t like any of the digital ones, so I thought what the hell, maybe I’d go old-school analog and try a paper one. I’m hoping it’ll get me a little bit back into the habit of journaling again, too. (I used to be a great journaler, back in the day.)

    I think you’ll all agree my first attempt at a habit tracker turned out horribly. The rollerball pen I was using smeared everywhere, and I had no sense of the size I needed to lay the grid out at, and…all kinds of stuff. Live and learn, though, and OH GOSH I GUESS I’LL JUST HAVE TO BUY SOME MICRON PENS JUST FOR JOURNALING WITH O NOES. Probably if I keep it up I’ll eventually figure out a decent grid and everything, but my handwriting will never be magnificently calligraphic or probably even moderately tidy, and I’m just going to have to live with that. Also, I have ink all over my hands. *scowly face*

    In other displacement news, I did tackle the Work Thinks To Do list and rendered it somewhat more reasonable. I also had a little talk with myself about the reasons I was procrastinating on some projects, and when we were done having that conversation I told me to get over it and get them done. I hope I listen and obey.

    I’m still going to have to…effectively *make* time to do some of the stuff, but I (by which I mean, my husband) solved my laptop hard drive memory problem by suggesting I put my works in project into a directory of their own and sync JUST THAT to Dropbox, instead of my entire Writing Directory. Since I already have a Finished Projects and an Ideas & Inactive Projects folder, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to have a Current Projects folder, and I feel like a moron, but now I’ve got one and the laptop is synced without filling its entire pathetic hard drive. WHICH MEANS (yes, see, there was a point to this paragraph, even though you forgot where it started, didn’t you) that the difficulty of writing in the evenings, post-Indy’s-bedtime, is alleviated; I couldn’t go up to the office because he tends to stay awake even later if somebody’s nearby, but I couldn’t write on my laptop because the Dropbox sync choked the teensy hard drive. So that’s sorted.

    Not, of course, that I’m going to do anything as rash as write *tonight*, oh no, that would be madness. But I’m getting myself sorted, bit by bit.

    Oh, speaking of getting sorted, I took the newly-fixed secondhand bike out on its first spin today. It’s fine, a little short for me, but certainly rideable. However, after a 15 or 20 minute ride around (maybe not even that long) my nether regions are quite shocked at my behaviour and would like to lodge a protest with the management. :)

  • CEMurphy

    mumbling to myself

    there are a lot of things i’d like to get done this year. too many to be realistic. and i have, y’know, a whole to do list about it, but sometimes i apparently just need to sit down and mumble to myself in a longer format as if it will somehow make a difference.

    the must-finishes are doable: august needs to see the redeemer notes finished (going pretty well, those; i *might* finish by monday), benedict revisions, year of miracles copy edits. i can probably get all that done. probably. we’ll see.

    beyond that it gets muddier because i want to be writing something new but also will have to do redeemer revisions and benedict line edits, and those things always always throw a spanner in the works.

    first thing i need to write, tho, is the 4th & final YA epic fantasy novel for my nephew, a series which i will be kickstarting next year.

    the next three things i want to write after that are sequels to benedict, atlantis fallen and magic & manners, and perhaps a couple more murphy lawless novellas in between.

    these are grimly pragmatic writing choices: they’re all self published and are therefore the fastest route to income that i’ve got. there’s no way i can finish all of them by the end of the year, even if i was writing full time and with no other edits to deal with. (…okay, there’s a very faint chance i could finish them all by the end of the year, but it’s not very likely.) it’s more likely they’ll take me through the end of first quarter next year in terms of writing/editing/producing (altho ted will be doing as much of the production side as is humanly possible, YAY!).

    i would *like* to then spend a few months writing some things for sending out to the trad market, before doing another round of heartstrike/austen/lovelorn lads rough drafts.

    none of this will go as planned, of course, but it’s what i’d like to do over the next 18 months…

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