Monday, December 14, 2009

Education and/or Accountability?

I'm rarely happy with my Manic Monday blog posts.

The idea for them was similar to a "reminder" version of my annual New Year's Resolution/Business Plan post – on a weekly basis. Posting my weekly goals and events for the world (potentially, anyway) had a two-fold purpose. The first is that I'm always curious about how professional writers organize their lives, and I felt I might not be the only one with that interest. The second is accountability.

Organization may as well be a Holy Mystery to me. My mother ran three direct sales jobs from the kitchen table, her notes a cryptic collage collected on discarded detritus, like the backs of notebooks and sides of boxes that could no longer carry Avon orders for delivery. (We were into recycling BEFORE it got cool!). I look at her "desk" in awe, though it appears almost as chaotic as mine, because I know how good she is at what she does. When I interview professional, independent artists who are in business for themselves, I ask about organizing: their work, their day, their to-dos. No matter how much I learn, though, organization to prevent those many moments of chaos continues to be a driving Holy Grail quest – at least in my head, anyway.

Most of my editors and people who are looking at me from outside the cluttered "desk area" that's my den, compliment me on my organization and record keeping. They're impressed! I smile and nod. It's an ongoing battle, that mathematical curve that keeps getting closer to a line but will never touch it. That said, I hope someone might avoid some of my mistakes – or at least feel better about their organization - from hearing about mine.

On a more selfish level, I write a Manic Monday post to force accountability.

I have no regrets about leaving the corporate world and going into business for myself, but I'm the kind of person who needs an outside influence giving me deadlines. Posting my goals and timelines for myself creates a 3rd party I must answer to. It's no longer in my head – or scraps of paper only I see -, but it's Out There. So, I have to do it. (Well, "have to" moreso than otherwise. I believe this year alone I've written 3 "starting over/getting back on the metaphorical horse" confessions.)

It works though. J Proof: I'm writing this blog post 4 days before it's "due" to be published.

So, why am I generally unhappy with these posts?

It's hard work to balance my selfish needs with an entertaining/educational element!

And I still think I suck at organizing.



Anonymous said...

Schedules Rock - when you can stick to them. Good for you for the hard work!!

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