Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I MADE A LIST! (#IWSG March 2019)

I've been having trouble focusing largely. I just have so many projects I want to work on, and no where near enough time to write them all. I made a list for myself to try and keep track of exactly what I was working on, and to try and prioritize some of it.

In just the last week or so, I've worked on, thought about, or should have worked on:

  • six blog posts/interviews/reviews
  • edits for one of the anthologies I'm a part of
  • my main WIP, to which by added somewhere between 5000-7000 words in February, which is pretty good for me lately
  • three separate short stories, two of which are complete but need major revisions, and I started a new third one for some reason
  • revisions for a completed manuscript I've been submitting to a few places
  • outlines or tinkering on three other novels that are bouncing around in my head
  • another special project that could take considerable time and I don't even want to mention because it will probably never happen
I should have started with some easy stuff.

That's a lot of stuff. Can you imagine how much work I would get done on a single project if I concentrated on one thing? I just can't seem to focus. Some things are driven by deadlines (such as blog posts and edits), and I do make a point of dedicating at least a couple of hours a week to my main WIP. But for everything else, whenever I get a few free minutes or an idea pops in my head, I open up a document on my phone or laptop and add a few lines to whatever strikes my fancy in the moment. It's good because I am getting lots of ideas and I'm feeling creative, but it's also frustrating because I'm not going anything done. 

After I made my "to do" lists I broke it down basically into two columns: stuff that is deadline-dependent, and stuff that is open-ended. That way I can schedule the deadline-stuff, and when there's nothing pressing there I can work on the other list. That one is harder to prioritize, though I think I'm going to try and stick to my one novel WIP and one short story (the one that needs the least work) for now. 

Though of course, if another idea pops into my head, it would be foolish not to write it down...

And I really should get that other manuscript out, I just need to do a few revisions and fix my synopsis...

See? I just can't do. 

Please send help.

Pictured: Me, reading my writing to-do-list right through the commercial break.


Hey, I also have a post on the IWSG Anthology Blog today, talking about my story in the upcoming Masquerade: Oddly Suited. Be sure to stop by and check it out.


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at


  1. Hi,
    It sounds like making that list has helped you get grounded and move further into realizing your goals. I am very happy for you.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  2. Clarifying priorities is definitely helpful. Especially when you're torn in so many directions. I wish you luck on all your projects in the here and now and also in the future. Happy IWSG Day :)

  3. I think our lists are helpful and then trying to narrow down what you can realistically get done. I don't write them for my writing yet, but do for other things in life because I have a lot with taking care of my mom too.

    1. Yeah, I'm always more focused when I write lists, but I usually refuse to write them because I hate being told what to do.

      I recognize I make most of my own misery.

  4. That made me chuckle.
    It's a bummer when so much of what we want to do falls into that open-end category. But if you look back at everything of yours that has been published, maybe your jumping around style is what works for you.

    1. But it takes so loooooong....

      I've always said if I was a more organized person, I would be so much more prolific. I'm going to have a lot of trouble catching up with Kilgore Trout like this.

  5. I feel ya. So much to do and how to prioritize all of it? At least you can prioritize. For me, even if I know I should do something, I can't seem to work on it. Ah well. Best of luck making progress on everything!

  6. That is a long list of things that need attention. I have one of those, too. I create to-do lists for each day, and that bigger list of items is always lurking in the background. It is maddening. I never feel as though I am getting anything done. I have to be careful because that's how burnout can happen. I've gotten to a good place and don't want to burnout again.

  7. That's quite a list you're tackling! (Don't forget the cocoa.) I'm a great one for writing a To-Do list and then ignoring it. But yeah, deadliney things must come first. Happy writing in March.

  8. I totally get what you're saying. There just isn't enough time, and there are *so* many things to do/work on. I think your priorization is good! At least you've got a plan :)

  9. I use lists to organize myself, too. But it can get overwhelming. I usually pick one or two things and focus on those. Although, right now I'm bouncing between 3 WIPs.

  10. I love making lists. One is right beside my computer as I write. I do concentrate on one new project at a time, but all the other things on the list take time from that.

  11. Lists are wonderful. And your GIF made me laugh, because I always have something on my list that I’ve already done, so I can be sure at least one item gets crossed off :D

    I need to make a list. Writing projects, other life things. Because I can focus when I get going, but I can’t keep track of what needs doing.

  12. You are a perfect example of today's writer. Focus is the hardest part of this job anymore. You might like this article. It has some tests to see just how "attention deficit" you are.

  13. I'm always writing things down. Lists are so important when you have five million other "jobs" to do. Sheesh. It's a wonder anything gets done!

  14. I'm a list person. I couldn't keep up with everything I have to do without my tablet. One benefit, besides the obvious organization, is the sense of accomplishment you get when you mark things off.

  15. That's a long list indeed. It sounds like you are handling it with a reasonable plan though.

  16. Lists are good. At least when you see it all written down, it seems slightly more manageable. I forget to make them and just have things swirling round my head. Good luck with everything!

  17. LOL. You do have a lot going on. At least you're attempting to prioritize your projects and chip away at them. There's only so many hours in the day, unfortunately.

    I try to force myself to write fiction first, but a lot of days, I'm not feeling it, so rather than waste hours, I'll work on something else that needs to get done. Then at least the day isn't a total loss.

    Good luck, my friend. You've got this.

  18. Prioritizing things have always helped me with completing projects. Writing things down has always been helpful. Thank you for sharing!


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