Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time to focus

I need to get organized. 

Lately I've been floating through life like a leaf on the wind.  Is the breeze blowing this way today?  Okay, that's where I'm going.  Oh, wait, change in direction.  Fine, let's go there, no problem...

Not to say this hasn't been fun.  Up until January of this year, my life was strictly regimented and I had little say as to what went on.  No, I admit it, I've enjoyed being aimless.  Reveled in it, even.

But it's time for a rudder.  This leaf needs some direction.

I read an article today, How To Eliminate That Overwhelmed Feeling, and it really spoke to me.  I have been feeling a little (or a lot, depending on the day) overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a freelance writer.  At times I have even felt panic, which hasn't helped me be any more productive.

But one thing I've learned over the years is that almost any task that seems insurmountable can be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

So that's what I'm doing.  Following the example in the article, I'm going to start with a chart with four columns:  reading/learning, writing, improving, and marketing.  Each day I'm going to accomplish something in each of those areas, and mark it off on the chart. 

See?  Manageable chunks.

Let's see, how am I doing today? 

Reading/learning - check.  I read over part of a writing course I'm taking. 

Writing - check.  Two blog posts so far today, and I plan to work on another spec piece later. 

Improving - check.  I sought a critique from an instructor on a piece I'd written, I edited it based on the suggestions, and I resubmitted for another critique.  I also read several samples written by other people. 

Marketing - well, I can't really give myself a check for this one yet.  I'm still working on my freelance website, but really have been spinning my wheels.  I'm going to sit down this evening, look at a few examples I've collected, and do some brainstorming for mine.  So maybe I'll be able to check that one off by the end of the day.

Not too bad, considering I just decided to start doing this.  Hopefully these manageable chunks of productivity will start propelling me forward, and will amount to meaningful progress.

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