Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Writing Time and Book Shopping

OK. Here's my last word on scheduling: use a timer for the non-writing stuff. So, the cleaning, the laundry, the shopping list, the exercise, all that gets small blocks of time. The rest is for writing. That's it.

Now, on to fun stuff.

I came across a truly neat site yesterday. At Zoomii Books, you can shop for books online -- visually. Book covers are lined up on shelves, separated by category and alphabetically.

It takes a little work to get used to moving around, and the selection is a bit limited at the moment, but it is as close to real-world book shopping as you can get online (minus the new book smell, of course). You can actually scan the shelves in much the same way you would in a bricks-and-mortar store.

Very nifty, and just what I always thought was missing from Amazon. Interestingly enough, Zoomii orders are processed through So, there's nothing new, once you make your choices.

Canadian bookworms can find Zoomii at Americans should head to

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Starting over...again

15 minutes a day. That was the goal. Some days, yes. Other days, not so much.

I do have a few excuses up my sleeve: illness, housework, fitness, Halloween. Kids were home sick, housework is occasionally getting done, I've managed to get myself moving again, on a regular basis, I've been decorating and brainstorming for a Halloween party, sending the creative energy into ghoulish zones. But none of these excuses, when balanced with my simple request to myself to sit and write for 15 minutes each day, hold up under scrutiny.

So, I'll try again. Shift the mindset. Quote FlyLady a lot. I know that I can do anything for 15 minutes. Even write.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

SMART Goal Setting

OK. Step One: Clean the office. Check. If a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind, well, my mind has a major case of the sniffles. But I like it this way.

Step Two: Set goals.

Doing a bit of quick mental calculating, I figure I realistically have about three hours a day to spend writing. There are three major activities or groups of activities that go into writing: first draft writing; re-writing, editing and critiquing; and research and marketing (this is where blogging comes in). So, one hour each, every day.

Being in a realistic frame of mind, I don't see this happening immediately. My goal is to work 15 minutes for each "department" Monday to Friday by the end of next week. There is a holiday descending on Monday, but grabbing 15 minutes here and there should not be insurmountable.

Goal Check: Does my goal meet SMART goal setting guidelines?

S- Specific? 15 minutes. Check
M - Measurable? Check.
A - Attainable? Check. Some goal setters also use "Action-oriented" for the letter A. Work. Check
R - Realistic? Check.
T - Timed? By end of next week. Check.

After writing this post, I've exceeded the goal for research and marketing today. I'm on my way!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Call a Do-over!

In September, I got my wish: the whole day for writing. But, I have to admit, I wasn't all that productive. My resources were spread over myriad projects and the result was that I was getting very little accomplished.

First, the reality check: I do not have the whole day to write.

I am chief cook and bottle-washer for a household of four people and two cats. The tasks that go into that job take Time, and will not (as much as I wish they would) get done by themselves. If I do not do those tasks in a timely fashion, there is an associated cost, whether it be monetary or environmental. It's more than OK to take the time to do that job to the best of my ability.

It is also OK to take the time to do my job as a writer. Good writing requires committed, butt-in-the-chair time. Writing keeps my brain in peak function, which is good for me now and in the future. As an added benefit, it helps me to do my other job well.

Off to do Step One: Clean The Office.