You know what this means, of course. All the chocolates are gone. It must be New Year. (Or Boxing Day in the case of my kids.) Time for New Year's Resolutions.
The Fussy Librarian Newsletter to get me started
1. Resolve to be grateful that your job encourages the collecting of imaginary friends.Resolutions #1 and #4 are easy. I started writing to keep the imaginary friends straight in my head. Otherwise they tended to go off on tangents, dragging me along with them. If not for my support crew, my stories would still be trapped in notebooks and filling boxes instead of bookshelves. (Okay, bookshelf so far.)
2. Refine your editing skills at the expense of negative reviews. “You’re book sucked”? Really?
3. Use social media and the Internet for marketing, not procrastinating. (Not that we ever struggle with that, boss ... ) People like Fussy want to quote your fans and tag you in posts, after all!
4. Thank those who help you, whether they’re collaborators like editors, designers, or writing group members; supporters, like loved ones and readers; or fuel for your desire to succeed, like naysayers.
Resolution #2 is a constant work in progress. From the time my sister reduced me to tears of laughter by reading exactly what I wrote on the page, I have resolved to improve my writing and editing skills. Check out my website and you will see that I am a professional copywriter, editor and designer. I've even been a micro-publisher in the past (too much paperwork). I am constantly working on improving my skills for clients and myself.
Resolution #3 is tough, but not as tough for me as some people. My procrastination activities are different.
- Dishes and other housework. It is perfectly reasonable to want a clean house, right? Well, I only have one when I want a legitimate reason not to work on something else... usually editing my own writing.
- Driving my kids to stuff. I am more likely to make them walk or take the bus if I'm on a roll. If I'm not, I volunteer my services.
- Whatever work isn't as urgent as the thing I'm supposed to be doing. I'm very contrary. Whenever I'm editing (my own stuff) I have a burning desire to get ahead on Cool Canadian Crime. Whenever I have a deadline looming for CCC or another client job, I have a burning desire to get back to my WIP.
The TO DO list is essential if, like me, you work for multiple clients including yourself and your publishers. Some items are one-off. They especially need to be there because they are easy to get drowned in the routine tasks otherwise. Other tasks are cyclical. (Once upon a time "that time of the month" meant my period. Now it's when Crime Beat has to go out with all its associated parts.) And there are the ongoing tasks--the ones you really need to keep reminding yourself to work on.
- Eat healthy.
- Get enough sleep.
- Keep up with the chores like dishes, dusting and marketing my books.