Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Little Blinking Light


This is not usually how it works for me.




 

I don't tend to get epic flashes if inspiration so much as little blips and sparks. Like back in the day when there used to be such things as answering machines, and such machines would have a tiny blinking light to tell you there were new messages, that is how it works for me. 
I have figured something out, but I still have to interpret for myself. MmmHmm. 

We've made it to February already. Last month was filled with a flurry of goals. Lots lists of goals for the new year, and because of the company I keep, it was a lot of writing related goal oriented list making. I probably did one myself at some point. 

And then over the last couple of days, I had a little blinking light of a realization about my "goals". They aren't really goals at all. At least as far as writing goes. My lifetime goals might change - do change - from year to year, but with writing, it's always the same: 

Make Books Happen 


That's it. I write all the time. Every free moment I get. I don't need a list of goals to motivate me to write, or keep writing, or finish writing. I don't need deadlines to keep me focused. Deadlines don't even work for me with early drafts, because it's finished when it's finished. How can I say when I start that first draft that I will have every problem and character detail worked out in precisely so-many weeks or months or years? But that is a discussion of process, and I'm talking about something very different today.

What I need is.... priorities. What do I work on first? When do I set a current project aside to work on something else? Which one of my literary babies gets the spot at the front of the line, and most of mommy's attention? How long should I make myself focus on one project, when my interest keeps wandering to another project?

I only have the one kid, so that is pretty simple. I take care of him first. But I have a whole brood of manuscripts. Right now I am working steadily on one, but when I am finished, which will be very soon, which one gets to be next?
I need to Prioritize!
If only there were a way to do that with any certainty. 

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