Magic how new habits take hold

1) My eyes now start to close as 10 p.m. approaches. Stayed awake in bed until 11:30 last night, though, playing with the new electronic toy. Made me remember reading LITTLE WOMEN by moonlight when I was little, while the rest of my family slept. Gorgeous weather and I’m not getting out as much as I’d like, but my office windows open onto our huge live oak so it almost counts as being outside. Still keeping up the garden and doing a few minutes on the elliptical, just not yesterday. Seems like I can do every other day. [Real goal: Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest).

2) Worked about 24 hours in the last two days to make the monthly issue deadline while fitting in other work odds and ends. Surprisingly, that left little to do toward it this morning, though I thought I’d be jammed. Happy! Now to get a head start on the next deadline. [Real goal: Work only 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 1 hour for lunch, no evening or weekend work. Fantasy goal: 1) Maintain the quality of my science editing and other job obligations while meeting my deadlines and not stressing out.]

3) Got up and wrote scene first thing in the morning yesterday and the day before! Not this morning since I hit work running. Tonight I’ll finally have the brain space to start typing in my longhand pages. [Real goal: Write 250 words/day on my current novel, SWEET TEXAS RAIN, to equal 20,000 words by the end of 80 days. Try lunchtime, before work, after supper—what can be sustained? Fantasy goal: 4) Add 40,000 words to my current novel.]

4) No more real progress on this goal, though I’m pondering what the cover of this story should look like. Also retitled it “Rage,” and think it would work as part of a trio with “Sleep” and “Reparation.” Don’t like the latter title but will find another single word that’s appropriate. Hey, guess that means I did make some progress. [Real goal: Clean up and format 1 short story or 1 flash anthology/week, create cover and publish to Smashwords/Amazon. Start marketing when 5 are available. Do most of this on  weekends. Fantasy goals: 2) Clean up and format three short story anthologies, create covers and publish them to Amazon and Smashwords. 3) Create and implement marketing for the anthologies. 8) Read and due the exercises in Jen Talty and Bob Mayer‘s THE SHELFLESS BOOK.]

5) Managing to fit social media into tiny slits of time here and there. Thinking of starting an FB group for South Central Texas authors to network about business and promotion. Sort of a writer mutual assistance thing, between a volunteer fire department and Craigslist. Hmmm….  [Real goal: Participate in social media no more than 90 minutes/day, mostly 7:30 a.m. and/or 8:30-10 p.m.—become more efficient at it. Fantasy goals: 12) Post here once a week in addition to the ROW80 posts. 13) Comment on blogs and use other social media more consistently.] 

6) 96% done with Lawrence. [Real goal: Daily reading: finish Lawrence, then Lisle [Fantasy goals: 14) Finish reading DH Lawrence‘s complete works. 7) Read and do the exercises in Holly Lisle‘s updated MUGGING THE MUSE.

7) Didn’t make it to Austin RWA last night! Grrrr. Worked past 7. If I’d left then, I would’ve been just in time to say good-night. Now I’m doubly determined to get to the April 21 Austin RWA conference with speaker Deirdre Knight and to the DFW Writers’ Conference. Must do the con since it’s already paid for. [Real goals: Fit in fun, ad hoc social but useful/profitable things, i.e., Austin RWA 4/10 and 4/21. Fantasy goals: 9) Get to some Austin RWA meetings. 10) See friends more often. 11) Do the occasional little editing projects a local businessman has asked me to do.]

Sunday will be here too soon.

11 thoughts on “Magic how new habits take hold

  1. Janice Heck

    I love the idea of real goals and fantasy goals. The fantasy goal is your “stretch goal.” I’ll share that first goal with you–maybe it will help me get out more, too. I’ll be your cheerleader on that one, okay?

  2. KM Huber

    How are you liking THE SHELFLESS BOOK? Am considering a purchase of three of his books as I did take a workshop from Bob–Conflict and Idea–and found it incredibly useful.

    Sounds as if your sleep patterns are improving, even with that 24 hours of work in two days, which does get one pumped. I like Eden’s idea of “Reparations,” for what it’s worth.

    Really great job on your goals, Sally! Oh, and I am quite impressed that soon you will have read all of D.H. Lawrence. Awesome!


  3. Sharon Clare

    Wow, great production, Sally. I find goal setting so important to my writing and I love the way you’ve added get up and move & spend time outdoors. I took a break from my computer as soon as I read that. I find I’m much more productive when I take a break around noon and go for a walk.


  4. Jennette Marie Powell

    Wow, you are getting tons done! And you’re still able to quiet your mind to fall asleep when you want. I’m envious. 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  5. Eden

    Sally… you had me with the lovely tree. MMmm!

    I wonder if, instead of “Reparations” if simply “Amends” might work better. Since I don’t know your stories feel free to cast off the idea as silly. Overall, I think you’re doing amazing with all these sticks in the fire. Enjoy some fresh air and sun knowing that things are great.

    1. SJ Driscoll

      Thanks, Eden! “Amends” may be a good alternative. Usually as I read a story something pops into my head. Don’t worry about my fresh air—all the windows are open. 🙂

  6. Judythe Morgan

    Fabulous Oak. If I looked at that every day, I doubt I’d make any goals…except sitting and doing nothing. Your list of goals is awesome. You’ll be one busy gal.

  7. Sheila Seabrook

    Sally, you’ve exhausted me just reading your lists! 🙂 I love your fantasy goals (great idea!) and it sounds like you have plenty on your list to keep you moving forward. Your list reminded me that I have Holly’s Mugging The Muse that I want to go through again and I also want to take one (or more) of Bob’s classes.

    Enjoy the oak tree out your window. It looks like it would offer wonderful inspiration!

  8. Dahnya Och

    Yikes. I agree with Prudence: it sounds like you are overworking yourself! Take a moment to breathe…

    You do seem to be keeping up with your goals though! Great job! Just remember to take time for yourself – otherwise you’ll end up burnt out.

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