I’m mystified. I’ve successfully avoided everything I said I was going to avoid, but that wasn’t enough to get me started writing again. I started reading a book instead. I read half of it, then decided I needed a break from that one (1632 by Eric Flint) and started reading something different (Beholder’s Eye by Julie E. Czerneda).
I’ve been procrastinating again—or, really, I never stopped. I’ve pretty much spent the entire day reading articles about productivity, flexible schedules, fixed schedules, procrastination, and tiny habits. Today’s most interesting find was “How to be Productive When You’re Lazy – A Guide for Artists” at rubberonion.com.
I do just about everything mentioned already, but it set off a few thoughts that I’m still trying to follow to their endpoint.
The thing is, I have huge aspirations for the next 12 months. I want to write a great many books this year, and I’m not off to a strong start. Frankly, in the bluntest of terms, I haven’t started at all this year.
I obsess too much about how productive I’m being (or not being), and I don’t give myself enough real* downtime, which usually sets off a cycle of procrastination that eats up significantly more time than I might have if I’d just given myself permission to be lazier. ;) These aren’t points of the article/post but they’re the thoughts that came into my mind while reading the post.
Anyway, more to think about as I try to get myself back to writing every day.
*TV watching is not real downtime! (Something I’ve only recently accepted.) When I watch television/videos, I don’t ever end the time feeling better, more rested, or more energetic than I was when I started. Comparing it to something else: reading often makes me want to start writing, but TV almost never does.
Started reading: 9/19/2015
Finished reading: 9/22/2015
I started reading this one this morning. So far, I like it very much. It’s set in Victorian England and the hero and heroine are both interesting characters, as are several of the background characters. :)
Update 9/22: I finished this one today. I actually liked it quite a lot. I have this feeling Slater was mentioned in a previous book but I can’t be sure. Either way, I enjoyed a lot of different things about this particular one. I thought the mystery was very well done. I still kind of miss the more common tropes Quick used to write (fake engagements, etc) but I didn’t miss it quite so much in this book.
*I’m trying out a new way of doing my reading log posts. This way I get to keep up with some of the books I start and don’t finish for a while.
This is a common problem for me: I read too many self-help books. It’s my favorite kind of nonfiction.
Right now, I’m reading Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith and Four Seconds by Peter Bregman. The sad fact is that I read so many of them, they all get mixed up in my head and I couldn’t tell you much about any of them within a week or two of finishing them. I read Better Than Before a while back, and I remember thinking it was great, but I have no idea what I took away from it now that it’s been a few weeks. :o
I do believe when I finish Triggers, I’m going to take a self-help reading hiatus for the rest of the year and devote my extra time to reading fiction. (I’ve read about as much as I want to of Four Seconds after skipping around the chapters and reading those that interested me.) It’s time to start devoting more time to action experiments instead of thought experiments. :D
I’ve had a really bad couple of weeks when it comes to my schedule. I think it’s because of the change in routine that comes around this time of year but it might be the book, or me. Right now I’m about to make lunch, after a very unsuccessful attempt this morning to stick to my writing schedule. I failed. In fact, I never even got started.
I want to have a few successful days. I know that’s all it would take to finish this book, and that’s something I desperately want. I want to finish this book so I can start my next one. It’s a book I really, really want to write. I don’t know if I can do the idea justice, but I’m going to have fun trying. ;)
I did read a great book while I’ve been struggling so hard. That’s good, right?
The Martian by Andy Weir is fantastic and utterly compelling and if you’ve been thinking about reading that book but haven’t gotten to it yet, let me tell you—stop waiting! It’s a great book.
My current read is nonfiction. I started Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives this morning. Yep. Another habit book. I’m hoping it’ll give me something to use to help me get back on track with my schedule, because I’m not giving it up. This schedule has been a great boon to my productivity, even counting the terrible days this week and last.
Well, on to lunch, so I don’t end up starting my 1–4 session late. I need to try to stay on schedule at least half the day. :)
My ebook library is up to
940 1222 books** now in Calibre. The last book I bought, I didn’t finish, but I do plan to finish it. ;) I do! I’m on page 73 of 367 in Aldiko*. But several other books caught my interest, even though they too have ended up unfinished, and it occurs to me today that my library is just too big. Not just my ebook library, my physical one too, tbh.
I can’t find, or focus on, the good books. It takes me too long to decide what I want to read because I have so much available. A month or two ago, I subscribed to BookBub. I received emails everyday and I couldn’t resist at least one or two books each day and so my ebook library swelled. I went to update my Nook, Kindle, and phone libraries and the whole idea that I have all these books in my library that I probably won’t ever read smacked me like a limb whipping in the wind. It was a sudden and shocking realization, and although I’m generally against minimalism and de-cluttering (one of my favorite books is A Perfect Mess), I’m having the most irresistible urge to declutter my libraries. Starting with the ebooks.
So, I think I’m going to delete some stuff today, in between reading and copy editing the book I’m working on at the moment. And I’m not going to regret it. And if I do, well, regret is not so hard to live with when there’s nothing that can be done about it. :D
*I highly recommend Aldiko. I use the free version on my Kindle and the premium version on my android phone. The free version is good enough that with my particular reading habits I can’t even tell the difference between the two. (Update: I discovered the premium version was compatible with my Kindle Fire and Fire tablets and upgraded them too.)
**I hadn’t imported my Kindle books in a while. Ouch.
“A prolific writer, therefore, has to have self-assurance. He can’t sit around doubting the quality of his writing. Rather, he has to love his own writing.”
—Isaac Asimov, I.Asimov
I’m still reading this book, bits and pieces out of order, because it lends itself to that kind of reading and when it comes to nonfiction, that kind of reading isn’t unusual to me. The book’s engaging and easy to read and I’ve found lots of interesting stuff in it worth bookmarking.
Asimov goes on:
“I can pick up any one of my books, start reading it anywhere, and immediately be lost in it and keep on reading until I am shaken out of the spell by some external event.”
I know that feeling. It’s what causes me to lose half a day’s writing when I start researching something I might have forgotten in one of my books. Ah well. At least I’m having fun.
Now, time for me to trim my fingernails and get some writing done today.
Think I found the pen name that Lindsay Buroker launched last month. My insatiable curiosity sent me searching and she was right that it might not be hard to figure out (as she mentions in the post). I’m not going to say what I think that pen name is, of course, because that’d be rude and I didn’t search for it for that reason. Trust me when I say I would’ve given up if it had taken much longer. I have things I’m supposed to be doing.
I want to know who did the book covers for the series. I like them very much. If I’m right about this being the series of books Lindsay Buroker is talking about in that post, well, who needs custom illustration when collages turn out so well? She’s right. The covers are a cut above for the subgenre.
Even if I’m wrong about the pen name, at least I found a book I want to read. It sounds just like something I’d enjoy. I skimmed the reviews and one comment on the lack of games and drama between the hero and heroine has me super excited. I’m not a fan of a lot of romantic angst between the hero and heroine (or hero and hero for that matter) and it can be hard to find exciting books that don’t go overboard with it. :)
Anyway, now I just need to cut off the damn internet and start my writing for the day so I have time to do some reading tonight.
I never even got to that cup of tea I was supposed to get myself at 11 a.m. and now it’s lunchtime. If only I hadn’t checked twitter before I went for tea…
I read a book this morning. :) This one was from my backlog. I’ve had the book since the early part of the year and just happened across it on my Kindle. I have so many in progress that I have no idea why this particular book caught and held my interest to the end. I haven’t been able to get more than 5% in on one book I thought I wanted to read, and I’ve been trying for two months to read it! Maybe the book just isn’t as engaging as it needs to be. More likely, the topic just isn’t what I want to read right now.
Nonetheless, this book caught me and I enjoyed the quick read. I spent about 2 hours reading this morning, and I was one chapter in when I started. (I read chapter one last night.)
To Catch A Spinster by Megan Bryce was fun. I really liked it and I could see myself reading some favorite parts over again. There aren’t so many books these days that do that for me.
LOL. Besides my own, but we already know I’m a bit strange in that regard. I re-read my own books for fun. :D
Some authors write books to get stories out of their heads. I write to create stories and remember them! That probably explains a lot about my attitude toward writing. I enjoy it tons when I’m moving along, but when I’m not writing, it’s not that easy to get myself to sit down and get started with it because there’s usually no story already pounding at my head to get out. I very actively sit down to create. I don’t create and then sit down to get it out…
Anyway, I’m moving along toward my reading goal, but it’s very likely I’m going to fall short.
NOTE: I decided to make an effort to read more books this year (fiction!). And since I have so many unread books, I set a goal to read at least 60 of the books in my backlog by the end of the year. I’m even keeping a log. :)
“Why not view procrastination not as a defect, an illness or a sin, but as an act of resistance against the strictures of time and productivity imposed by higher powers?”