Tuesday, January 25, 2011

24 Days

Most times we don't keep track of all the things we do and changes that happen to us from day to day, and I thought it would be interesting to see how January went for me. Tonight I started compiling a list of things I've noted in my first 2011 personal journal, both good and bad, and so far this month I have:

Missed zero days working
Accomplished zero amount of sewing
Lost an old editor
Gained a new editor
Renovated a bathroom
Packed up and emptied a bedroom
Had a new release
Sent out a new proposal
Drove to an airport I've never been to
Tried two new-to-me foods (dried apricots aren't bad, but pickled ginger will blast out your sinuses)
Handled a mom visit of two days
Received two rejections
Agreed to do three things I never do
Ate four (small) bags of chips that are not on my diet
Okay, and one Lindor white chocolate truffle, too
Painted four watercolors
Had to cope with four-five days of the blues
Lost five pounds
Composed eight poems
Signed and donated ten books to charity
Posted twenty-four entries on PBW
Walked an extra twenty-four miles
Mailed thirty-eight packages
Read forty-one books + one Pulitzer-prize winning play
Answered ninety-seven e-mails
Written three hundred and thirty-six pages of new material
Proofed three-hundred and forty-five galley pages

Now that I read it, the list is scaring me a little. If I handled all that, why do I feel like I haven't done enough to get the new year off to a good headstart? Is this a woman thing, or a menopause thing? I wonder.

I do feel a bit more positive knowing I have juggled quite a bit over the last three weeks, and I still have seven more days to get some other stuff done. So I will focus on the 10K left to write on the schedule, one more read-through of the galley, two more poems I want to write, doing the third of the three things I never do, and reading nine more books. I think I can manage most of that. I also need to move my daughter from one room to the other this week, and make some time for sewing -- I need some sewing time -- by starting on my annual guild project.

How are you guys doing with 2011 so far? Have you stopped to think about what you've dealt with this month? Does a good start at the beginning of a new year set a tone for the next twelve months? Let us know in comments.


  1. Anonymous1:23 AM

    Wow, and I thought I was an over-achiever! That's quite some list. It actually makes my to-do list for this year seem inadequate.

  2. I can tell you your list scares me. Seriously, you don't feel like you accomplished enough? I'd be gasping on the floor :).

    That said, I have managed a heck of a lot of editing that I'm still in the middle of plus weird school schedules, and I haven't melted yet, so I'm doing okay. I had higher hopes, but then I always do, and some weird things have happened like finding the same lost kitten again after three months.

  3. ... read forty-one books?!?

    And I thought I read a lot.

    Forty-one. And a play. And wrote enough material for a book. In 24 days.


    Did you sleep?

  4. Lynn,

    You're making the rest of us look bad Way to churn up feelings of in-adequateness in your readers. Seriously, so far this year it is a good day if I can get out of bed, shower, and eat at least one meal that doesn't involve eating it straight out of the can while standing right outside the pantry. Writing, who has time?

    In all seriousness, thanks for setting the bar high. ;)


  5. Usually a good start to the new year sets the tone for the rest of the year for me, or at least that's what has been stuck in my head since I was a kid. This year I'm fighting that mindset because my year started out horribly & I've been spending the last week trying to get back to normal.

    I think it's a bad thing to rigidly believe that if the new year starts good/bad that's how the year will be. I refuse to let the whole year suck just because the start of the year sucked. Time to get positive!

  6. When I wrote my morning pages today, I was shocked to discover it's the 25th already! So then I began thinking about my month. I like how you kept a list of what you did/didn't accomplish. I'm going to do that for February!

    Good luck with achieving the rest of your goals this month!

  7. WTG! Thank you for reminding me of the value of the personal journal. I've gotten out of the habit and really should get back into it.

  8. Wow! I thought I did a lot so far this month.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say a good January sets the tone for my year, but it does make it a lot easier to stay on track with my goals if the month goes well. And I do think the idea we haven't done enough is a woman thing. A friend of mine calls trying to accomplish a lot justifying our existence.

  9. Forty one books? 0_0 My, my, that is already a lot just by itself! You have certainly accomplished several things (that is an understatement!) in 24 days. I'm afraid I haven't accomplished very much...in fact, just reading your list makes me blush! Thank you for the motivation. :)



  10. I have exercised more days than not, read maybe 10 books, actively pursued spending more time with my family, lost 3 pounds, started a new Bible study, and did more cooking. Not bad so far! I think that starting out the new year on a roll *does* help, but if it starts out bad, don't get discouraged and blow off the rest of the year, just jump back in and kick 2011's butt. I'm a perfectionist at heart, and I have been working on aiming for perfection, but not quitting and taking my ball and going home if I don't get there. ;-) Thanks for the reminder to review so far, I am doing better than I thought.

  11. Just thought I would let you know that you also:

    Comforted a mother during the early hours when teething baby wanted to do nothing but nurse the pain away all night long.

    3am, with no sleep and work the next day, did not seem so bleak with Frostfire on my kindle. :)

  12. This is a good reminder for all of us to stop and acknowledge what we've accomplished and/or overcome.

    Too often, I fall into that "nothing special" mindset. While I am no more (and no less) accomplished than anyone else, if I don't point out my value (particularly at work), then I risk losing my job. It's that simple.

    So far this month, I have:
    run 40.5 miles
    biked 165 miles
    swum 5 miles
    rewritten my job description (day job)
    led two meetings, in two new job roles (day job)
    developed a procedural for a different work unit (day job)
    developed database queries to build budget reports for anoter work unit (day job)
    negotiate distribution of new workload with new team (day job)
    written 1500 words of new story narrative (home project)
    written two music reviews (side project)
    built/updated/posted @ 30-odd web files for a monthly music magazine website (side project)
    assembled over a dozen pieces of IKEA furniture for my BF
    played chauffeur and advisor to help BF move house
    computer tech support for parents

    Other than that, I can't say that I've done much this year.

    Unless you're dead, you've accomplished *something*.

  13. Um... Geez, I can't keep track that way, would drive me nuts (or nuttier) but, lets see...well, I've blogged almost every day, I've finished up two books, edited the RS trilogy, finally was able to go back to running again, numerous kid-related arguments regarding school & homework, been to church, tried and failed for a date with the DH-we NEED a date night.

    Oh! A major thing-although I can't claim credit as my agent handled it all...Germany bought the rights to my RS trilogy...I've finally gotten a decent foreign rights deal-something I've been praying and hoping and praying for...

  14. Your list is amazing, but as someone else in the comments said, when you start writing it all down, you realize you really are getting a lot done.

    The item that jumped off the page at me was "received two rejections." I always find it suprising to see that established authors still deal with rejection. After multiple successful series, I guess your rhino hide is three feet thick. :)

    Thanks for the motivation!

  15. I do not know how you read that many books. *blinks*

    I like having a good start to the year but for this year just not wanting to hurl every hour of every day is an achievement. On top of that I've learned lots of new cooking skills, taken up yoga again and gotten new ideas for fixing old stories. Win!

  16. You did all that in 24 days. And you don't feel it's enough?? Good heavens, I'd be overjoyed if I was able to do most of that stuff in a year! You must be a human tornado.

  17. Well, that list made me feel majorly inferior.

    But the start of this year has not been bad for me too, and I've done some things but nowhere near your prodigious list.

  18. Shawna wrote: Did you sleep?

    Not much. I'm an insomniac, so I average about 4-5 hours of sleep on a good night. Bad nights I get 2-3 hours. When I can't sleep I read, paint or sew, which usually helps settle me down for a second try.

  19. Vorpaks wrote: 3am, with no sleep and work the next day, did not seem so bleak with Frostfire on my kindle

    Glad I could help out indirectly in a small way. My youngest didn't sleep longer than 3-4 hours at a time until she was three (she also inherited my insomnia) so I know those 3am sessions are the toughest.

  20. Kathy wrote: I always find it suprising to see that established authors still deal with rejection. After multiple successful series, I guess your rhino hide is three feet thick.

    I can't speak for other old grey mare writers, but I still get rejected all the time. I don't take it personally; they're rejecting a story, not me.

    Even when it does cross the line and get personal, you can learn to deal with it. One editor back in November used a rejection as an opportunity to take a personal shot at me, which was unnecessary and really kind of juvenile. I choose to let it slide because it's the editor's problem, and the editor's loss, not mine.

  21. I've always felt you were an impressive woman, and your list of January accomplishments proves it!

    41 books?!? I'm deeply jealous. :)

    I like your idea of making a monthly list so I can see what I've gotten done and what still needs to be done.

  22. You are really doing an amazing job with the start of 2011!

    I look back over January and think of all the things I needed to get done but haven't. Reading your post made me rethink it...to take a look at what I've accomplished. So far so good.

    Dictation software arrived so I'm learning Dragon Dictate and it's quite a bear to train. That's taking up a majority of my off work time.

  23. If the beginning of the month sets the tone for the entire year, then I am utterly, utterly screwed. Because so far my month has been filled with crazy people, finding out my job is in jeopardy, and my apartment flooded. At this rate, I may be dead by June.

  24. You are a constant source of inspiration.

    This year, I set the simple goal to write every day, even if it is just a few words and I have only missed 2 days so far. I finished one novella and started another. I finished 2 books. 41 books? You are a fast reader. I think years of reading aloud to the kids has killed that skill. I don't read much faster than that even reading to myself.


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