Tuesday, August 14, 2007


"Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses). "

Yesterday in her blog, Jenny posted about working on two or more projects at once. The timing is kind of coincidental given how when I saw her yesterday and she asked what I was submitting to the group this month, my answer was, "Well, maybe I'll do the one I talked about a while back, but it still doesn't feel right. Or, maybe I'll do the one I just started writing, or maybe the chicken heart story." Three possibilities for one month. Wow. Compared to the rate I was writing, I've suddenly become downright prolific. What gives?

Maybe it's like that saying, "If you want to get something done, give it to someone who's busy." The idea being that being busy makes one efficient. When you have all the time in the world to do something, that's how long you'll take. The funny thing is, in my experience it tends to hold true.

My last semester as an undergrad was the most grueling few months I've probably ever experienced. I was taking eighteen credit hours, working at least thirty hours a week at two different jobs, occasionally babysitting, and working on a novel. Oh yeah, and I had a boyfriend who fit in there too. Due to my work schedule, my weekends were the only time I had to myself, and by "weekend" I mean Sundays. If I was really lucky, I worked at the bar in the morning and had Saturday afternoons and evenings too.

Despite the 12+ hour days, I was on top of all my homework and class readings, and I submitted a new chapter of Oracle to the group each month (as well as doing critiques on everyone else's submissions). That semester was probably the single most productive time of my whole life. No joke. I got a lot done because I had to, and because once you get accustomed to that pace, it's easy to keep it up. You start doing lots of multi-tasking, like working on the novel during a boring class.

Then I got my B.A. in December and took the spring semester off. Needless to say, my productivity dropped. There are some people, like Deb, who take advantage of extra time and write more. Then there are people like me who think, "Ah, I can finally take some time to be a bum" and watch TV all day.

Lately, my aim has been to step up my writing. At first, all I could think of was, "But I can't think of any stories to tell." I had notes in a notebook, and half-finished projects, but they weren't enough for some reason. Then, for no particular reason, it seems the damn has broken. Perfect timing, seeing as how the fall semester starts on the 27th and I'll be taking a class with Katherine (i.e. monstrous work load). Of course, if past evidence is any indication, the added demands might end up being good for me.

Speaking of productivity and what I want to accomplish, now is the perfect time to talk about goals. Between now and the time the new semester starts, here is what I am going to do:
Finish the story I'm about six pages into, currently titled Albatross
Write the chicken heart story
Do a read through of Scar and see if there's anything I can fix (like the title) before I hand it off to the group
Get an internet connection at home

For this week, I think I'll focus on finishing Albatross and doing a read through of Scar. That's manageable.

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