Shortly before Christmas my friend Pam visited from Orange County (CA) where I lived in pre-Nevada days. We hadn't seen each other in over a year--notwithstanding Skype and Facebook and E-mail--so it was a great catch-up visit. But we scheduled the visit with a specific purpose.
We had a two-person writers' retreat.
Pam and I are both prolific idea-generators, which is exciting and great fun in brainquaking sessions, but sometimes leads to distraction from the main objective of a work-in-progress. Many projects initiated, but too few completed. This was the weekend to make changes with the intention of seeing more productivity in 2012!
The first session we sat, armed with new calendars, and made lists of all the writing projects we had in work or in mind or in desire. No particular order--just as they came to mind. The second session we evaluated each project: how close to completion, how pertinent to today's readers, how marketable, how dear to our hearts. We prioritized the projects and then calendared the increments of each one, literally scheduling each step on specific days.
And during the necessary waiting periods, i.e., for submissions and correspondence, we even dovetailed steps from the next project.
On paper my novel should have been in the mail last week! (You can quit laughing now.) Obviously I didn't consider the first week in January for all the packing away and clean up after Christmas. Or the fact that college-age grandson #1 would still be here visiting. Or the spontaneous visit to my second son and his wife and 7-month-old #2 grandson (a seven-hour drive away). Grandsons take precedence over the calendar, don't they?
So my calendar is totally messy with the actual scribbled over the scheduled. Fortunately I didn't schedule past January. I wanted to give the plan a trial and adjust as the need arose.
The need arose.
Choices, changes, challenges...It's still a good idea. Now that I'm back to a relative normal, even though I'm more than a week behind, I can simply check the calendar, pull out the materials for the scheduled work and have at it without wasting time wondering what to do.
Excuse me now...It's time for coffee.
Choose Life. . .
Bill McKenna has said: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well- preserved piece,
but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"
Moses said: "...therefore, choose life..." (Deuteronomy 30:19).
I choose life - with all its choices, challenges and changes!
How about you?