After submitting my novel for The Ampersand project a couple weeks ago, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Justifiably so. I had been working on that novel (off and on, in the editing/feedback cycle) for over two years. To have it at a point where, while it may not be perfect, it was a lot tighter and polished than it had ever been and ready for submitting.
I sent it off, sat back, felt good. And then looked around me for what to do next…
Being (pretty much) solely focused on one thing for so long has left me with so many ideas and no real overriding inclination on which one to pursue.
The cover image for this post is my calendar for September. I’ve been keeping this all year, each day gets a tick if I do at least half an hour of writing. It’s supposed to be a visual shaming/motivation technique. As you can see, it’s not exactly working that way. I could throw in some excuses about how I’ve just come back from a week in Sydney, but really, excuses or not, there’s still a whole bunch of red x’s there and that’s all on me.
So I sit down this morning and scroll through my Facebook feed knowing that I’ve got time this morning. So I better actually get to work on something. But what? I’ve got so many ideas that are sitting there, waiting to be developed, worked on, and written. But which one first? I feel like I’m on a giant roundabout (you know, Canberra sized) with so many exits and not knowing which one to take.
So, while Facebook usually is a ceaseless distraction (as I’ve written about before), this time, it sent me the life-raft I needed. An article titled: How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers. It provided practical steps to clear out the clutter, to set yourself goals and work towards finished pieces of work. Yes, it might seem like a lot of it is common sense, but when you’re not doing what you love because of indecision, calm step-by-step common sense guidance is helpful.
So please excuse me now, while I leave this post here, so I can go and work out what I’m doing with myself. I’m determined to see less red on that calendar from here on in.