Journal, Writing

Making a List and Checking it Twice

To-Do Lists Are the Best!
So much to do, so little time! I may have to buy a new notebook for all these things I want to do!

Oh, it’s that time of year again~! I’m not talking about the snow (though we’re due for 4-6 inches, I hear), or Christmas trees, or Menorahs, or presents (*did* I get everybody something?), or even cookies (MMmmmmm, cookies…). No, I’m talking about NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS time!

For those of you who are relatively familiar with this blog (when I remember to keep up with it, hmmmm, note to self…), you’re more than aware of my fixation on LISTS. Goal lists, submission lists, lists for reading, lists for writing, lists for just about anything that can (and should) be listed. Let me preface this list-obsession by stating that I am NOT a Type-A person. Nor am I particularly organized. Nor am I especially neat/tidy/etc./etc. I’ve never made it all the way through Seven Habits for Highly Effective People (or even the Chicken Soup for the Soul version: Seven Habits for Highly Effective Teens). If I’m any type at all, I’m Type-H, “H” for Horizontal. I’m a recliner type person. I’d really rather do nothing other than watch TV or maybe think about writing without actually getting any words down. I’m exceptionally good at *thinking* about writing. All the other parts? Eh, I’m working on it.

Which is where the lists come in. I know my weaknesses: I’m lazy. I procrastinate. I’m easy-going to a fault. I’m somewhat prone to stressing out when said laziness/procrastination/I’ve-got-plenty-of-time-I’ll-do-that-later kicks in and gets me into deadline trouble. There are only two things that work to help me counteract my own laissez-faire, do-nothing natural state: Lists and Stickers.  Stickers, because they’re shiny, and I’ve always been somewhat distractible (past life as a magpie, perhaps?); Lists, because they engage that tiny, itty bitty, teeny-weeny, office-supply loving bureaucrat buried deep inside me. (“Carbon-copy sales receipt notepad?! Awesome! How can I use that on a day to day basis…?”<–actual thought from last night at Staples. No joke.)

Lists mean goals, goals mean a chance for stickers and general pat-me-on-the-back moments. I’m a sucker for positive reinforcement, even if that reinforcement comes from myself. Often times, it has to.

So this time of year is prone to drafts of lists for what would make me feel accomplished by the end of next year. Obviously with the wee bairn coming along in June, that leaves me pretty much five months of relative normalcy to get whatever writing goals I have for 2014 completed. Not. Much. Time. But I’m planning to pack in as much as I can (whether or not I achieve those goals is another thing entirely) so that when the time comes, I’ll be able to enjoy the little bundle and take some much needed time off without guilt. (If I could get some fiction rotating the markets by that time, too, so much the better!)

This year, the main draft I’ve got is a bit presumptuous and will very likely to be a bit too much for me, but I’m more than half-willing to try (even though this month I’ve been a terrible slacker when it comes to the ONE GOAL I have to complete by December 31st. Oy.) More likely than not, by January 1, I’ll have a more reasonable list of goals in place. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about making lists, its that to overshoot and ask for too much will inevitably bring the whole list down on its head. My inertia won’t stand for *that* much change too quickly. Smaller goals are more obtainable, but there has to be a balance between that and pushing myself, too. It’s a delicate ecosystem governed by a madwoman. What can I say? It keeps me on my toes.

More updates coming as time permits. I’ll need to take a look at last year’s goal list and see what did and didn’t get accomplished, and then either delightfully clap my hands and give myself an ice cream or wallow in self-remorse (also with ice cream).

*Note: I do not pretend to be an expert cartoonist, but too bad, you’re stuck with my silly doodles anyway! HA!* 

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