Is this you?
Feed the cat
Sit down at computer
Because there’s just so much to be done. It’s not a do-list, it’s a tidal wave. Let’s see what’s on my plate:
- Write more pages of Coed Demon Sluts #4. No, you don’t have to research those two New Jersey high schools right now. Drop in a //fix this// marker and write the damn pages.
- Revisit the six stories I edited in Sigil last night, only this time in a .docx file, redo the links I inserted last night in the proper styles this time, then re-edit all six stories in Sigil. Upload. Then add the insert to the next eight stories.
- Create content for assistant to use in upcoming promotion.
- Nag cover artist.
- Line edit standalone romcom now that beta comments are back, trim it by at least 10K words.
- Peck away at outline for final Hinky Chicago book.
- Visit Facebook, because it’s been two weeks and everybody thinks I’ve died.
- Write two more blog posts, because conference next week, and I’ll be too busy & too dead the next day. Actually, write three blog posts, because another one’s due the following week.
- Get on the publication schedule for new short story collection.
- Look at proofs of new short story collection, correct, reformat, upload files for format review.
- Go over metadata for new free book promotion, add a skillion new keywords.
- Review website vis-à-vis new information from that fabulous blog I read last week about making your website mobile-friendly.
- Give webmistress heart attack by asking for revamp—again.
- Read MS for critique partner.
- Read MS for that kid my sister-in-law introduced me to, why did I promise to do this?
- Read MS for friend’s book blurb.
- OMG send requests for blurbs for the new series! Do it now so you don’t panic in six months!
There’s more, but I’m hyperventilating now. Wine therapy stat! <sip> Okay.
My strategy, which was always to put out the fire in front of me, has evolved. Now I put out the fire that will be in front of me in two weeks. When I’m a grownup, I will be putting out the fire that ignites in six months. Better than that, I defy anyone to do, because publishing evolves so quickly that in six months those fires will have gone out on their own, but new ones in unforseen colors will have erupted.
When my brain is cheese and today I cannot face being creative or reformatting an ebook whose table of contents is misbehaving, the tactic I use most often could be described as “whack the smallest mole.”
I type the list. I print it out. I keep the printout near the wine. When I sit down and realize there is no juice in me, no spark, not even some good sound sarcasm, I scan that list for the easiest job. Then I whack it.
Then I cross it off the list. This puts me near the wine, and sometimes it’s too early for that, but fortunately it’s also near the coffeepot.
Back to work. What’s at the top of the list? “Write some pages.” Can’t face it. Whack something else. What’s the next easiest job on the list? Whack that one. Cross it off the list, refill the /g/l/a/s/s/ coffee cup, rinse, repeat.
At the end of a very long week of braindeath, this tactic can result in the disappearance of many small tasks. I still haven’t climbed Mt. Everest, but I’ve done a lot of chores that are now gone, gone, gone.
And comes a day I wake up, once more ready to scream defiance at the sky.
How do you face that do-list?