Archive for the ‘To-Do Lists’ category

I need

October 6th, 2015

I need to cut myself a break.

I need to take a deep breath and allow myself some peace.

I need to realize the book I’m querying might not be The One.

I need to stop being so rigid in my writing habits. I need to start working on new projects without waiting for everything to be just right.

I need to practice more with short fiction.

I need to be fine with the short fiction I am writing at this blog, and not look at it as a job.

I need to be okay with being middle-aged. Yes, missing a few days of running visibly shows. But getting back to running later visibly shows too. I need to have the patience for that.

I need to be okay.

I miss it

January 11th, 2012

“Do you like writing?” A co-worker looked hard at me over the top of her laptop and mine.

“I love it. I miss it.” I didn’t have to think before answering, but I did after. I love it. I miss it. But why don’t I do it? Why do I update this blog monthly at best, when my goal was daily? Why do I have two manuscripts languishing, when I could at least be looking for agents? Why do I have so many ideas for new (even if unsold) stories that I won’t commit to paper?

It’s not lack of thought. I think about my stories when I get up, when I drive, during the day, when I fall asleep reading. I write blog posts in my head, letters to Evan that will never be sent, random thoughts that… well, okay, nobody will miss reading those. Even this post is being written in scraps of time, piece by piece, when I can.

So, I love it. I miss it. But I don’t do it. Why not?

I focus on what I don’t do. Why can’t I recognize what I do? That I work my butt off from before dawn until after dusk? That I spend a chunk of that home time playing with my beautiful little boy? Why can’t that be enough?

It just isn’t enough. I need to give myself credit for those things, but I’ve defined myself as a writer. And I’m not doing it.

Andy’s to-do list as of Oct. 24

October 24th, 2010

Let’s open with a moment of excitement: Recently, I began my annual re-reading of Wilton Barnhardt’s “Gospel,” a book given to me in the early ’90s by the man who taught me how to write. (This copy isn’t that one, of course; I enthusiastically lend it to people every few years, and they steal it, and I buy a new one.) On a lark, I looked up Wilton Barnhardt on Facebook, and he actually accepted my request. And so, the kicker: I posted there once finished with my reading, and he wrote a nice comment back.

This sounds like nothing to the non-writer world — La nodded and made polite noises of encouragement at it all, despite adhering to an all-nonfiction reading regimen — but Mr. Barnhardt is someone whose words are so effortlessly conversational that I learned to listen to how people talk and write that way. If I ever get any of this stuff published, it’d be a dream come true to have him say he read and enjoyed it.

And speaking of the writing, it goes at a fast pace. I scratch out time where I can, talking to myself on the hour-long commute to and from work, transcribing the ideas when I arrive. I’m maybe 1/3 of the way through my second novel, something much different from Underneath It All. As for UIA, I put a halt to querying agents. Just no interest, and many indications the genre was facing a downturn. It’ll never go away, though, so I’ll resume trying to sell it eventually.

Okay, that makes me sound busy, and I have been, but still I managed to slack on my to-do list. In the hope that peer pressure will force me to complete it, here’s what’s on tap for the week of Oct. 24:

  • Vote
  • Sort old PC games, put them on eBay
  • Recycle boxes
  • Mow, edge, trim trees and hedges
  • Fix toilet flush  in master bathroom
  • Sell old, never-to-be-read again books
  • Kill crab grass in front yard
  • Switch sides and sprinkle organic bugkiller on tomatoes, peppers, basil, etc.
  • Get haircut
  • Clean grease spots from driveway
  • Check cleanairtexas site (or whatever) for trading in Blazer
  • Pick up dry cleaning
  • Merge bank accounts at Wells Fargo
  • Clean toilets

I should probably add “relax” to that — I still haven’t kicked the cold La’s mom brought with her a month ago, though to be fair I gave myself all of one day to do it (and spent that day repainting the living room). It’s gotten so I can’t sleep at night, so I may take another day (and actually relax) this week.

Is it okay to let things like “continue writing five pages per day” go unsaid? Good. I’m hoping that by eating at my desk and working out over lunch, I can leave the office at 5 consistently and have more time each evening to be creative. Oh, and to cross off items on this damn list.