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The Time is now…

January 1, 2013

I set many writing goals in 2012, probably too many. You see life has a way of ensuring that cut-out words don’t stay on the table to be assembled into collage poems, and that laptops are not accessible. When I set my writing goals for the year, I didn’t factor in Qwerty.

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Much as the beautiful boy should be my muse, more often than not, he is my writing hindrance or favourite form of procrastination. Why write when Qwerty wants to sprawl himself on your lounge-draped body.

Enough excuses — there was writing,editing and a tiny little blogging in 2012 — just not enough. But there were plenty of photos of Qwerty.

So what else happened in 2012…

On December 22, 2011, I took possession of my new car. I was apprehensive of my first trip to Sydney and Nowra, but once I started, I rediscovered my independence. the car took me to Sydney twice (where I realised I’d lost my Sydney savvy)’ Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. I love my car.

After years of pretending that my birthday did not exist, I decided to celebrate this year with a trip to Sydney, catching up with friends, some I haven’t seen for many years and catching some culture.

I spent a lovely half hour with my former boss, John Bell

lunch with high school friends, including my ‘twin’ Margitta

and then went to the Sydney Opera House to see The School for Wives with Jen.

To finish my Sydney trip, I did a course on digital DYI publishing at NSW Writers Centre which turned on huge marketing lightbulbs in my brain regarding the market for my novel. I no longer write ‘women’s fiction with attitude.’ It is now ‘fiction with attitude’.

I continued working on my writing craft, taking workshops with Cate Kennedy and Shelley Keningsberg, online courses with Margie Lawson, attended Byron Bay Writers Festival, and volunteered at Bellingen Writers Festival, and attended the Romance Writers of Australia conference at the QT Gold Coast. I found new critique partners and a new accountability group.

I bought an ipad, added a bluetooth keyboard and turned it into a lean, mean, editing machine.

I took bellydancing classes religiously and performed in two concerts. I’m still way out of my comfort zone, but at least My shimmy looks good thanks to Tori, who made the main parts of my costume, and Xaeda, my gorgeous teacher.

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I went to the gym less religiously and fell out of habit completely by the end of the year. This is on the must do list for 2013 to complement the Lite n Easy meals. I simplified my meals by using Lite n Easy – no more cooking for one, chucking out unbeaten food, realising at 10pm that I’d yet to cook, let alone eat. Dinner has become a timely habit, along with lunch.

Suddenly I had more time to write/edit but I’d do this in binges and then become the Queen of Procrastination for weeks despite having a new online group to report to. Goal setting was easy. And after a while, making excuses became just as easy.

I admired my friends who seemed like writing machines. I envied my friends who didn’t have to deal with day jobs. For much of the year, my day job left me exhausted at thee end of the day and I used that as an excuse not to write. Time evaporated.

I would start the weekend believing I had all the time in the world and suddenly it was Sunday night and almost time to go back to work. Ad much as I tried to lasso time, it eluded me, slipping away, laughing maniacally.

In the last few days, I’ve though about what I didn’t achieve in the last 12 months. I’ve realised that I need more structure. Writing lists is fine — if I remember to look at the list and, more importantly, if I allocate the time to do the work.

So I’ve examined my week. Somehow I’ve managed to extract 18.5 hours to be creative. WTF? Where did that come from? That’s 2 hours x 4 weeknights, 1/2 hour x 1 weeknight and 5 hours on Saturday and Sunday (assuming I’m not fully occupied). 7.30 – 9.30pm each weeknight allows wind-down time and the ability to get to bed at a reasonable time. A 10-12 session and a 3-6 session on weekends allows a small sleep in and my nights free to (shock/horror) go out, catch up on some pre-recorded TV watching or watch a DVD. Plus 2 sessions allows me to work around other possibilities, without sacrificing all of the creative time.

Though my Sagittarian sun, Gemini ascendant, Leo moon are all shuddering at the concept of structure, the time is now. I’m not going to call it time management. I shall call it time capture and see where it takes me in a couple of months. Anyone have any other tips on capturing time?

Bring on 2013.

Hell, with all that allocated writing time, I may even blog more.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2013 7:00 pm

    Happy New Year, Diane!

    Love that photo of Qwerty :)

  2. January 18, 2013 3:52 pm

    Good luck with your schedule! I love making schedules and timetables – just not so good at sticking to them :(

    • January 18, 2013 4:03 pm

      Me too, Kerrie. I’m full of good intentions but putting it into action is a whole other thing. I even have the time programmed into my electric brain. Now I need to not ignore it. Maybe I need an electric shock if I don’t do it.

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