Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's In!

The application I was putting off is submitted. I made it three days before my February 1 deadline (and over a month before their March 1 deadline). All that's left to do now is wait for good news. I can do that. In the meantime, I have a story and a picture book draft that need to be finished by tonight. I'd better get cracking.

Here's something to celebrate with:

How do you like your butterbeer?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Thoughts

Friday afternoon is apparently not the time to try to focus on any one thing for long. My mind has been flitting around today like an indecisive butterfly in a flower garden. (And coming up with bad similes, it seems.) So far the topics have been:

Sustainable Farming - I watched FRESH today. It's a 70 minute documentary about farming practices and the differences in industrial farming versus organic farming. There was a lot of information in the video, and it made me think twice about what I buy at the grocery and what I put on my plate. It also gave me some ideas for possible futuristic/SF situations to build stories out of. Double bonus!

New Year Celebrations - A close friend I haven't seen in a few weeks is coming to visit today, and we're going to do our new year's celebration today. It seems fitting that we waited until after the year of the dragon began (even if it was unintentional) because we're both dragons. Maybe I need to polish up that dragon PB I wrote last year - this is the year for it.

Story Stall - I have a couple of short stories I've been working on, and a novel I need to be working on and they're all at a standstill. I've been letting myself get distracted by random things, but my mind keeps coming back to these stories and what I need to do to fix them.
One story wants to be in verse, one wants more plot, and the novel wants research. I may have to resort to going somewhere without wifi to keep myself from getting distracted. Reading about writing is not actually writing.

What's on your mind? Is your Friday more focused than mine?

NB: To watch the FRESH movie for free at the link provided, I think you have to sign up for their newsletter.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

How to (Re)train Your Ego

I have come to the unfortunate realization that my procrastination is rooted in fear. I'm sure this is unsurprising to anyone other than me, but I've always given myself other reasons for it. What does it say about my character that I would rather believe myself lazy than afraid to do something?

I've always thought I wasn't afraid to do things, and, for the most part, that is true. I'm not afraid to try something new and not do well at it. After all, I've never done it before, so I can't be expected to be perfect right off the bat. Things I think I am good at, though, are another story.

If I put off writing a story until the deadline for submissions has passed, I tell myself I was busy. No big deal, there's always next time, right? Besides, I was crazy busy with the start of the semester. (Or end of the semester, or grading those tests, or...) My ego is protecting itself, I guess. If I have a deadline that is a firm deadline - say I'm taking a class and a project is due on a certain day - I may procrastinate, but I will make sure I have it done and turned in by the due date. I may not be a second before it, but I don't want to get a bad grade, so I get it done.

I need to retrain my ego to recognize the things I want to do as things I have to do. Firm deadlines seem to work for me, but they have to be deadlines to someone other than myself. To fix the problem, I am going to try setting firm, external deadlines. Here's hoping accountability will trump procrastination.

I have an application to a prestigious workshop that I want to finish before the deadline passes. I have the critiques on my sample pieces, I just need to polish the work and fill out the application. Here's my firm deadline: I will have it finished and submitted by February 1.

What about you? Do you procrastinate? Is it fear-based or is there another reason? What do you do about it?

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Little Inspiration

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places. I read a friend's poetry blog today, and felt compelled to comment. This is one I normally read but don't comment on - the quality of the other contributors is a bit daunting. Today, though, the form was so fun that I had to chime in with my own attempt at the form. It was such fun that it got me in the mood to write today, and I haven't been in that mood for a while. My thanks to Sweet Marie and her Poetic Bloomings.

My attempt at a Rime Couée:

Quantum Blind

I thought that I would never find
A class that left my wit behind,
But now my ego’s in a bind.
Oh, Quantum, you’re no joke.
I hope your ways will fill my mind
Sometime before I croak.

Have you found inspiration in unexpected places recently?