Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gaming the Lemon Tree

Ah, procrastination.  Where would I be without you?  Probably in my beach-side condo enjoying the fruits of my best-selling novel, stopping only to refresh my mojito and consult with my stock broker.  But, alas you are a lemon tree.  Generous in providing a constant supply of lemons for my lemonade making pleasure.  Can I game the Lemon Tree?  Can I actually use procrastination to my benefit? 

Ways I creatively procrastinate:

Scenario 1 - I've been putting off starting a big project.  I also hate doing the dishes.  So, I decide that I only have to set up my project and get started on the first part.  I get the project set up and all of a sudden, those dishes have to be washed right now, by gum.  This works so well, that sometimes I'll pull out the big project even when I don't need to work on it, just to scare myself into doing chores. 

Scenario 2 - I've hit a slow spot in my WIP.  All of a sudden, that idea that has been percolating in the back of my head starts demanding attention.  Write me now, write me now.  In the past, I would just drop what I was doing and run after the new shiny.  But, I've learned to seduce myself with the new activity.  If I get one more page done, then I can procrastinate with the new idea.  Then working on the new thing seems more like a guilty pleasure than work. 

Scenario 3 - Reading.  OMG, I love to read.  You see the books I've read column?  Those are only the ones I've finished.  Multiply that by about four or five, to account for the ones I scanned or didn't finish, and you get some kind of idea of my literary appetite.  *I used to finish every book I started, but if it doesn't do it for me, away it goes.  Life is too short for sucky books.*  When I'm in a big project, I limit my reading to books on writing and those in my genre (unless a book comes out by a favorite author, like today.) Go, Kim, Go.
  That way, if the reading jones hits me too hard, I am still working.  I'm reading about my craft or doing market research. 

There are so many activities to choose from during my day.  I try to keep a steady supply of profitable ones in rotation, so that if I'm running from one, I'm still moving forward.  For someone like me, with a short attention span, it is a remarkably efficient way to stay on track. 

What ways do you all have to creatively procrastinate?

Here's an interview with Ms. Harrison. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Putting the Smackdown on Perfectionism

The main reason that I started this blog was to put the smackdown on my ridiculous perfectionism.  But, this last week or so it has reared its ugly head.  I've found myself not posting because I didn't have that perfect topic.  So, in the spirit of anti-perfectionism, here is a possibly lame update on what is going on in Aprilville. 

In my last post, I mentioned that I applied to be an editor at BellaOnline.  Well, I didn't get it.  They gave it to some Dr. Whateverhernameis.  The nerve.  Moving on.  I also submitted four articles for review at Constant Content.  I was amazed when the first was approved.  They are notorious for being grammar snobs.  I, however, am not.  So, after a gazillion rewrites, I hit submit.  It took five days, but my first article was approved.  Then I submitted another.  Repeat acceptance process two more times. 

Yesterday morning, I woke up to find an offer for one of my articles.  What?  Someone wants to buy what I've written?  Yowza.  So I accepted the offer and have my first sale.  That was an amazing feeling.  Of course, now I'm stalking my account, psychicly willing my articles to sell. 

I've also managed to put together a complete outline for a novel.  I've been toying with this idea for a while.  It keeps morphing on me though, and I haven't been able to hold it down long enough to write the damn thing.  Hopefully, this outline will help. 

Now that I've got a strangle-hold on the perfectionism, I can tackle my procrastination.  Maybe later.