The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).


What am I working on this week?

I put two major projects to bed recently, courtesy of GenreCon wrapping up and uploading The Birdcage Heart collection to all sales sites in preparation for Nov 30. That opens up a lot of tie to work on other projects, much of which will get funnelled towards the first PhD Chapter (this week’s to-do list: 3 readings and a new chapter plan after my old one was a little too ambitious) and the next Brain Jar Project, Helltrack (this week’s to-do list: nail down the voice and tone I’m looking for, figure out how to write the first race).

What’s inspiring me this week?

I picked up Nic Pizzolatto’s short story collection, Between Here and the Yellow Sea, because I figured I’d need something post-GenreCon that got me inspired to write. It’s definitely delivered on that front – Pizzolatto may be better known for True Detective these days, but I first encountered him through his debut novel, Galveston, and this delivers the same taut, controlled narrative voice. 

What action do I need to take?

I need to schedule some downtime this week, because my system is still in con-mode where I feel like I should be doing everything and it’s really easy to keep rolling with the high-focus panic that engenders. The need to be productive is overwhelming, but the ability to make decisions is minimal.

It’s also a really bad idea to stay in that mode – the last week was hard on my mental health – and I keep trying to over-schedule my week and do everything at once. I really need to sit down and cross half the things off my list, giving myself a chance to focus on a few tasks that will really be important rather than a hundred tasks that aren’t essential.

  14 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 19/11/2017 at 3:27 PM

    Congrats on GenreCon and on The Birdcage Heart. I can’t wait to read the latter. 🙂

    My Sunday Circle is here.

    • 19/11/2017 at 4:30 PM

      Are you able to put the applications aside for this week Sophie, or are they time-critical at the moment?

      Hope the other short story work goes well, too!

  2. 19/11/2017 at 4:12 PM

    Peter: I hear you on the downtime. I’m looking at scheduling a day off for most of Tuesday this week thanks to energy levels. Is there real estate on your calendar you can block out, or is it looking tricky at the moment?

    • 19/11/2017 at 5:06 PM

      The problem is more that there’s too much real-estate, rather than not enough. Lots of distant deadlines, but they’ll all get harder to meet if I misjudge the amount of work required now.

  3. 19/11/2017 at 4:24 PM

    What am I working on this week? The three big things are pushing the film recording to the point of done (almost there!), finally getting tax off the plate, and a quarterly review. I’ve also got an interview for a podcast, and a meeting to push a project to the next step.

    What’s inspiring me this week? Finally saw Wonder Woman over the weekend, and once again I am in AWE of Robin Wright, and want more of her work. The idea that the glass ceiling could be broken for mature female roles is such an exciting one – that we could be moving closer to parity in terms of who books roles. Everything’s been a little tactical at the moment, so apart from that I haven’t had much chance to plan conscious consumption of media.

    One other thing that’s inspiring me at the moment is a breakthrough with the program I’m working through with the physical trainer. I realised that the difficulty in one particular strength-based exercise was more resilience and grit than actual strength, which was exciting, and a little scary as well. Whenever you realise that there are huge open vistas available to you, and the only thing shutting you off from them is your own perception of limits… it’s a little intimidating. Almost a shade of agoraphobia in there.

    What action do I really need to take?
    I need to cinch my sleep schedule back about two hours. It’s crept slowly to a later start and finish to the day, which doesn’t feel as good for me.

    I’m also planning to block out most of Tuesday for downtime, as I’m dragging my feet to do pretty much anything at the moment under my own steam. There hasn’t been a chance to slxow down post-Games Week due to time-critical priorities (eg. funding application last week) and opportunity cost of not pursuing certain opportunities. So I’m going to at least take one day to be self-indulgent.

    • 19/11/2017 at 6:36 PM

      A self-indulgent day sounds like a good plan, Kevin. Taking time out to relax and refresh does wonders for creativity as well as energy levels.

  4. 19/11/2017 at 6:41 PM

    I had a great time at GenreCon Peter so thanks again to you & your team for all your hard work. It must be difficult to wind down after such a huge event. Maybe spending some time in a natural environment could be helpful, whether just hanging out in the botanic gardens, or a bushwalk around one of the Mt Cootha tracks, or even a drive out to Samford or Sandgate. Those places always help me put a stop to the “busyness” and get things back into perspective.

    • 22/11/2017 at 8:03 AM

      Totally backed up by science – walks in natural environments help our brains much more than just a walk!

    • 22/11/2017 at 8:07 AM

      I hear you on the chaos intruding, especially as we inch toward the precipice of the end of the year.

      Are you able to start small with a standard time each day set aside for writing with small goals, to get that rhythm back?

      • 23/11/2017 at 8:14 PM

        I haven’t done too badly this week Kevin, fitting in 3 writing sessions. And I will definitely be locking myself away in the first weekend of December – all writing, no interruptions!

  5. maggiedot
    21/11/2017 at 8:39 AM

    Belated, but not forgotten! All the best with your controlled wind-down, Peter. Also, really loved the blog post today. It really hit home for me, and I know it’ll hit home for so many others, too! Thanks for sharing that.

    My Sunday Circle is here (if the link works…)! I’ll try to get to everyone else’s soon!

    • maggiedot
      21/11/2017 at 8:40 AM

      Hmmm, again it fails and reroutes in an odd way, despite double-checking. Well, second try! LINK TRY TWO

      • 22/11/2017 at 8:13 AM

        I can’t imagine trying to do something creative while our daughter is around – even if she’s occupying herself with TV, 90% of my brain is on monitoring her. Hat’s off to you for getting anything done without being able to just pop noise-cancelling headphones on.

        What’s the best time of the day for you for reading, Maggie?

        Kudos on the planning for what’s ahead, too!

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