Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

When nothing is something

Yesterday, I thought it was going to be another typical busy Monday. I thought I'd get started on my next batch of articles to write this week, finally interview someone for a book project and get some other work done on another book project. And type up another story I have, to boot!

That was the plan, anyway.

Alas, 'twas not to be.

The thing about yesterday is that I was really busy with the baby. He is climbing on everything now (even the window sill! YIKES!) so he's definitely been keeping me on my feet! I'm not complaining, of course. It's just, WOW. He REALLY does keep me busy watching him and getting him down off of the window sill, bookcase, tables, etc. (I need to get this kid to a baby gym!) My daughter was not this much of a climber when she was a baby. Actually, she was an explorer, exploring the cabinets, drawers, shelves, etc.

Another thing that sort of impeded my ability to get that stuff done was that my brain was not in work mode yesterday. Actually, it was in "organizing mode." Checking with this, looking for that, updating that. I DID manage to type up one thing, though, so at least I got THAT part of the plan done.

All the same, I was feeling kind of frustrated that I didn't get a whole lot done yesterday (when I do have a whole lot to do! More stuff to type, research to do for a book, articles to find homes for, etc.). I don't regret getting busy with the baby, of course. Mostly, I just blame my inability to FOCUS on the work that I need to get done this week. I was thinking, "My book is due in 5 months and I only have two chapters done!" And I was panicking over that, too. But nothing could get me to focus on that book work, no matter what I tried. I kept feeling like I got NOTHING done.

Nothing productive, anyway.

I keep a work log that notes what work I get done on days I do writing work. Basically, it covers the writing work done Monday through Friday. I usually don't work on the weekends (those are meant for things like catching up on e-mails and typing things up), but when I do, it goes on there. It has really helped me to keep tabs on what I have been able to do so far, stay updated on the progress of an editing project, and just have it on file what got done when. It also allows me the chance to analyze what I was able to get done so far, and how I can fit in what I have yet to do in order to meet a deadline.

So I was looking at what I put on there for the "work" I did yesterday. At first I thought why bother? I hardly got anything done yesterday. It's not something worth even typing up. But I typed it up, anyway. Here is what it says:

Date: Monday, May 4, 2009
Typed up poem (must hunt down other notebooks to type up marketable poems in there)
Found poetry markets to submit to
Worked on a list of other poems to submit
Dug up an OLD article that I don’t know the status of (published? rejected? lost?) to consider submitting elsewhere
Checked out status of SIGNews. Seems they have shut down.
Checked with Shadowlands newsletter. My article is FINALLY in there! Woot!
Added link to newly-published article on web site
Time: N/A
File name: Friends across the miles.doc, Cappers poems to submit.doc, PARENTING Cochlear Implants.doc
Status: Complete

That "status" part is meant to indicate if I finished the work noted on there and if it was submitted or not.

And in looking that over, I realized that it wasn't all that bad. I mean, given how busy I was chasing after the baby and also getting the housework done, I think that what I managed to squeeze in yesterday was actually pretty good. At least now I know of some poetry markets to submit to (not just Cappers), now I know it wouldn't do much good in contacting the editor of SIGNews to see if I could write for them again (which is what I was considering doing -- I sure miss having articles published in a newspaper!), and now I know I have to try to find out just what in blazes happened to my cochlear implant article that I submitted MONTHS ago but never got a reply from the editor. (Gah!) If it was never used, I'll have to contact my sources to see if the information is still valid and try to get that article published SOMEWHERE!

And see what other articles I have in limbo, as well....

Speaking of SIGNews, I was reminded of something about my writing experience with them yesterday. I was watching the movie Marley & Me with my daughter, and when the wife pointed out to John that the newspaper spelled his last name wrong, I could only laugh and shake my head. "Whoa, been there and done that!" I said. Yep, SIGNews actually spelled my last name wrong on one of my articles they ran. I was NOT happy at the time, but I can laugh about it now. C'est la vie!



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