May 10th, 2012

procrastinate

"Real" Work

Last night was the final session of preschool choir, and while it's kind of a relief to have that one thing off my schedule, I think I'm going to miss all the hugs, having little people snuggle into my lap and having trusting little hands curl around my fingers. They make me feel so loved while also being a little overwhelmed by the awareness of the responsibility that comes with that trust and adoration. I'll still see these kids around. I have a couple more Sundays to lead the singing in preschool Sunday school, and I imagine I'll still have my fan club for singing in choir (they get all excited to see me, like I'm their celebrity they actually know). I did get a lovely drawing from one of them that will have to go on my refrigerator.

But before children's choir starts again in the fall, I have a lot to do, like getting a book out. It's been a while, so I have to adjust my mindset. For the past few years, "work" has been focused on writing new stuff. Promotional activities were procrastination techniques to avoid the real work of writing. My work tracking system even focused exclusively on time spent actually writing. But now, I need to get back into business and marketing mode, which is difficult because I've trained myself not to think of that as real work. If I'm sitting at my desk, doing Internet stuff, I'm not really working, and I should be away from my desk at the other computer, writing. This week I've been doing some proofreading, so I have had that regular "writing" time, but next week I'll have to remind myself that this is stuff I need to be doing. Doing stuff like deciding I need to brainstorm a story idea or re-read an old book with an eye to revising it will be my procrastination techniques, while doing stuff online, updating my web site, etc., will be the real work.

I still feel a little twitchy about not having a book in progress, though. My problem is that I have several proto-books swirling around in my head, and I can't seem to focus much on any one of them. I have fleeting moments with each of them. I guess that's okay at this point in the process, as I don't yet know what I'll need to be working on next (there are a lot of things pending), and any development puts each of these ahead of where it was. There's that mystery series idea, there's a kind of YA past dystopia steampunk meets Orwell thing, there are always more Enchanted, Inc. ideas (those people just will not shut up), there are subsequent books in series I've written but not sold, there are old books I'd like to revisit. Since no one of these is urgent and no one is predominating, they're all just kind of jumbling together in one big mass of noise. I wonder if picking one to deliberately focus on might ease some of the noise. I'll need to do something, since most of the TV season is drawing to a close, and I'll have free time that I should probably fill with writing.

But first, proofreading and promotion. I'm trying to do my household chores for the next couple of days today so that I don't have to do any of them tomorrow and can focus on work. I've already made a good start on laundry, and I've even washed the Battenberg lace from my bedroom (since it's the week for the thorough bedroom cleaning). Starching and ironing will have to be my between-chapters break today.