State of Play

Last night I braved the outside world and joined Trent Jamieson and Chris Lynch to talk about SF as part of the QUT Informational Professionals Alumni Chapter’s Bookclub, which was an enormous amount of fun given the books we were discussing (the fact that I’m a nerdy bibliophile who rather enjoys chatting about books didn’t hurt, nor did the fact that Trent and Chris are lovely blokes to share a panel with).

Today I started tackling May’s to-do list from hell. It’s a long list, and its terrible, and there were at least two things on there with a deadline of “May 31st”. The first of these is done (short story submission, although given the length my stories are when I’m finishing them these days they may not deserve the title short); the second of these is daunting (going through the fourth rewrite of Cold Cases in preparation for May 31st, when I hand it back to TPP). The rest of the list has a little more leeway when it comes to getting things done, but it’s still extensive and needs some time focused on it. To that end, I’m experimenting with kitchen timers.

Now I’ve used kitchen timers a lot in in the past, but usually as a short-term “I’m going to spend the next fifteen minutes/half-hour/hour writing” kind of measure. This week I’m going to be pushing that out a little – at the beginning of the day I put nine hours on the counter and set it counting down, pausing it every time I stepped away from the computer or stopped working on jobs attached to the to-do list. The goal is to ensure I spend a solid days work in on the writing-and-productive-activities* front, which is something I tend to be bad at unless I’m in a regular routine, and eventually clock up a sixty-hour writing week.

Of course, there are flaws to this plan. I mean, I started today around 11 am and I’ve still got four and a half hours left to clock up before I go to sleep, but I figure I’ll get better at it as the week goes on.

*translate “productive activities” as “find paid work,” since I really do need to find a job in the very near future.

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