Time Limits

Posted On December 9, 2022

Photo by Michele Venne

More days than not, I’ve put a check in front of projects listed in my calendar. I’ve logged a lot of time with the next math book. Not much creative thought involved with that at this time. I’m just transferring a few years’ worth of warm up problems to a Word doc. The creative part will come later when I include a bit of introduction at the beginning of each section to remind students how to do the problems. I find the time passes, and I’m rewarded with pages and problems in the digital file and paper pages transferred to the recycle bin.

My imagination comes into play when I open the spiral for The Secret Gift. The story is there. The words are going down on the page. But I also find myself crossing out words and partial sentences and rewriting them. This tells me I’m not fully immersed in the story, and my inner critic is too vocal. I’m still balancing on that ah-ha thought I had last week. Just because I’m aware of something doesn’t immediately follow that I can fix/adjust to make things better.

I’ve worked some on the edits, again, for “The Raid.” It’s not that I don’t like the story. It’s that I think readers won’t be intrigued enough to continue with the series. But if the main action and love interest happen in the first book, what can I include in the prequel to entice readers to get the first book? Decisions… doubts… thoughts…

I haven’t done any work on “Alphabet City,” though I’ve seen flashes of scenes in my head. This is a short story for a specific group of readers. I’m staring at an empty room, so it’s difficult to finish the story when the likelihood of someone reading it is close to zero. This same absent group of readers makes me think twice about other projects I’d planned for them. Maybe I can rework my original plan. Maybe I can find a different readership for the project. Maybe…

We all prefer to do what we like, what is easy. I’ve been indulging in downtime and easy and fun (for me) activities. Like transferring the math for the workbook, I can do the non-work stuff for hours. And, yes, justify it. Don’t we all create reasons for our actions (or inactions)? It’s not that I don’t have time to dedicate to each of these projects, it’s that I spend too much time on the ones that are easiest. I’m stretching my leisure time when I should be lengthening my work time.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to set an alarm on my phone. When it goes off, I’ll get up from in front of the computer for a few minutes, then change projects. There are 21 days left in 2022. If I start a helpful habit now, maybe I can continue with it into 2023.

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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