I noticed when I went to publish this check-in, that it is my 100th post for ROW80. I have a few more on my other blogs, but this is still a milestone for me. Thank you all who support and encourage me!
The last few days have been rather productive, in a behind-the-scenes kind of way. Although I don’t agree with everything Stephen Covey taught in his books, there is one phrase that resonates with me. It is “sharpen the saw.” While chopping down trees, one has to stop to sharpen the saw in order to be efficient. I have ADD, so left to my own devices, I would start with whatever file caught my eye when I logged into the computer. It is an act of will to stop, think about what I plan to do, and not let the ADD magpie coax me off-course.
Several colleagues have mentioned how neat I keep my cubicle at work. Little do they know that it is self-preservation. There are files I need to keep somewhat present, current projects simmering on the back burner, but everything else has to go away, or it will continue to sing its siren song to my magpie.
My home office is the same. Right now, I am sharing a desk, tucked in a corner of the master bedroom, with my eldest son. He and I need the same sort of clear surface, thank goodness, and we have worked out a schedule of sorts. He works away while I sleep, and has usually gone to bed about an hour before I get on the computer at 5am. Luckily, my husband sleeps through both my son’s time and mine. I suppose I am veering off-course, here, but my point was that I have been organizing my files on the computer (huge thanks to Eden who gave me a tower to replace my ailing laptop) as well as paper files that have been unearthed in the recent troll through the garage.
I have been working on a logline and an antagonist for my novel. Oh, it gives me shivers to write that. A novel. Oh boy, that is just scary. The logline is close–I just need to strip away a few more clauses to get it in shape. My antagonist is not a person, but a culture. I know the culture well, having studied it for, well, more years than some of you have been alive. My current task is to hone the features of the culture that are crucial to the antagonism toward my protagonist.
I’ve started to sketch the outline of scenes and conflicts as well. I find that I need to research some things, which is always dangerous for me. Since an aspect of my ADD is hyperfocus, I can dive into research and follow all the little rabbit trails until I surface hours later. Again, I have to plan and outline what I need to find out before I can hope to spend only my lunch hour in the stacks.
I have learned a lot in the past week about how I work and how I need to plan. Among several good suggestions, AmyBeth Inverness suggested that I plan on a larger frame than a day, some things needing a week, some a month. I am working though that suggestion; it is an appealing thought to plot out the large goals, then break it down into bites. I keep the large goals in mind, but I haven’t ever put them into a structure.
My post on how important this ROW80 community is to me went up on the blog last Monday. It is a great group, who would appreciate your support and encouragement. You can find the list of participants here.