Monday, January 11, 2010

Not another top ten list

'Tis that time again when we share our goals for the new year with everyone else. Sick of reading other people's lists? I'll be merciful - after all I could have subjected you to my Top 1000 resolutions that were made to be broken. Instead, I'll just list my Top three writing goals for 2010:

Goal #1: Write more.
Phyllis' handy timer gave me the idea of setting my cell phone to alarm when I sit down to write. I've begun by setting it for 30 minutes, and it's amazing how fast those half hours fly by! Invariably, I find myself resetting it to give myself more time. People, this works!

Goal #2. Organize.
It's difficult for me to balance the various compartments of my life so that everything gets the attention it deserves. We all juggle a lot of stuff: day job, school, children, spouse or significant other, writing, household chores, correspondence, reading time, dreaming time. If I have a fairly structured schedule for doing each, there's a much greater chance of managing at least some of it than if I had no plan at all, and writing might not get edged out so easily.

3. Limit Internet time.
I have to confess to 'net addiction. I simply can't rationalize any more the hours I spend flitting around on Amazon, for example. It occurred to me recently that a simple move such as unplugging the modem cable from my laptop when I sit down to write makes a whole lot of sense. (There are benefits to not having wireless access in the house.) At the very least, I won't be distracted by the chime of Google Notifier every time an e-mail drops into my inbox. Checking e-mail throughout the day has also got to go. Once in the morning and once at night should be sufficient.

There you have it - three small goals (note that I'm avoiding the word 'resolutions') to revolutionize my writing life in 2010. Happy New Year!


Stefanie Worth said...

Liane --


I've even told myself I need to go back to dial-up internet. I wrote more and was better organized when going online was a hassle. *sigh*


Anonymous said...

They're not very SMART, are they?

Stefanie Worth said...

@Captain Black --
I'm hissing at you... :P

We use SMART goals at work, and I use them for specific writing tasks like submissions and WIPs, but not for the ever-present plagues like getting the kids to bed on time or staying off the internet. Speaking of which...

ChrisH said...

Right that's it - I'm copying you! More hours in the day, yes please! I'm going to try the phone trick - thank you!

Liane Spicer said...

Stefanie, the Internet is a problem, isn't it? I too wrote more and managed my time better in the dial-up days.

Captain, trust you to call me on technicalities! I wasn't familiar with the SMART ref. (learned something today) but I know from my almost forgotten Ed. courses that objectives should be specific and measurable etc., so goal #2 in particular troubled me a mite. I'd surely have flunked based on the "Be" alone.

I'm okay with #1 and #3, though. I know what I have to do, and measures like the timer and pulling out the cable might not seem like much, but they're specific and attainable enough to help me form better habits (thus far).

Like Stefanie, I set much more specific goals in terms of quantity and time for actual writing tasks.

Liane Spicer said...

ChrisH, it works! It must be a Pavlovian thing, but once that Notifier chime goes off I can't stop myself from checking the mail.

Kaz Augustin said...

I have a separate machine to do my writing on. Y'know, to lessen distractions. So what do I do? Yep, plug an RJ45 into the back so I can go surfing in between writing! And as for email checking only twice a day. Wash your mouth out, Liane Spicer! Twice an hour...maybe. Twice a day...utterly impossible. LOL

Debs said...

I've spent more time on the internet since it's been cold and I've been inside. It's incredible the amount of time I can lose this way.

Debi said...

All good stuff except I'm not sure dream time can be scheduled. Not for me, anyway.

As for the internet, it knows we're talking about it and planning to limit our time with it, so it's having a laugh with the word ver: eplay!

Liane Spicer said...

Kaz, so far I've failed dismally at the twice a day e-mail checking. Cripes. Pass the soap.

Debs, time never flies so fast when I'm at the office, or cooking, or hacking away at banana stumps when the little jungles my mother creates in odd corners of the yard begin to frighten her. But I get online and - whoosh!

Debi, I so wish dream time could be scheduled, because it's my normal state. Teachers have complained about it since my infant school days. O_O Eplay was the word verif? Love it!