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Planning not to plan
without wanting to fail
I've been wrestling recently with how to cope with the vast amount of stuff I need/want to do in my writing and my business. I have lists of story ideas coming out of my ears, as well as a whole load of more admin and business things to do in order to keep everything ticking over, and the whole thing growing. The idea of an author sitting alone in a draughty attic waiting for their muse to visit is long out of date. I wear many hats, juggling the creative with the hard-nosed business. I am self-employed and need to manage that side of things as well.
I work best with an external deadline to hold myself accountable. But, having too many deadlines packed on top of each other makes me feel anxious and once one starts to slip, then the others all come cascading down. Which means I need to find that balance between enough to motivate me to actually get the stuff done, while not paralysing me into inaction.
The last few weeks have had the kids at home, and I've struggled to do much while they are around. I'm not sure how best to balance my time between doing stuff with them, and leaving them alone so I can hide away and work. And I made the mistake of putting far too many things on my to do list for these weeks.
So, instead, I have made a huge list of all the writing projects I could work on, and all the business and admin tasks I need to do. And I've picked one from each to be my focus right now. Once I've finished those, I can then choose which to do next. This does mean I'm getting rid of my multi-year plan of how many books I'm going to publish and when. But I think that is a good thing. I have an overall number in mind to get to, but exactly when each of those will come out is in flex right now.
With this, I feel a lot more relaxed about stuff. While there is tons to do, I have two tasks to focus on. OK, there are always more things that sneak in there as well, like posting here and on other social media sites, but I'm going to do my best not to split my focus...too much! I hope this brings me an autumn full of intentionality and completed actions!
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