Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Time Management Tuesday: Goals And Living Chaotically (Also, A New Publication)

So last week I was working away on 143 Canterbury Road, my first goal for this year, when I heard about a writing challenge at Medium, where I've published humor. It involves four writing prompts you can pick and choose from, writing for as many or as few prompts as you want. You publish your work directly to Medium, not to a publication on Medium, using challenge tag words, which will mean your work is considered by judges. There's money involved but, more importantly to me, is the possibility to have work read. 

I have short form work I've started or been interested in starting this past year. So the challenge is attractive to me. But...the work has to be up by the end of August. That's going to take time away from 143 Canterbury Road, which I'd really like to get behind me so I can work on short form writing, similar to what I'd do for this Medium writing challenge. (Notice the little cyclical thing going there?)

Then Saturday morning I saw a tweet from one of my sons involving the Olympics, which gave me an idea for a humor piece. However, the Olympics will be over next week. No one will be interested in an Olympics humor piece after next weekend. This was Saturday, remember. In the past, I haven't worked weekends. But I sat down for a few hours and knocked off a rough draft, trying to get something that could be submitted to a humor site on Medium, where it would have a chance of being considered and being published before it would be too old to be of interest to anyone.

I Am Chaos

Serena Repice Lentini on Unsplash
Once again, I'm throwing any hope of an orderly life out the window and living chaotically. The weekend work paid off, because my latest humor piece, Daddy is Watching the Olympics Again, was published today at Frazzled, a site that publishes parenting humor. I've never been able to write something in time to take advantage of a current event, so this is significant for me. Even though I had to give up some order in my life to do it.

And, yes, I'm going to put 143 Canterbury Road on the back burner for August, though I'm hoping to do enough to stay in the Canterbury Road world, so I can work on a couple of short pieces for the Medium challenge. This is another example of taking advantage of an opportunity, though it means upheaval to my writing plan and not staying on a task.


Two things are providing anchors in this chaos:

  1. We're talking short periods of time here. The Olympics piece had to be done in a couple of days. The Medium challenge lasts only one month.
  2. While I'm putting off work on one of this year's goals, "Finish a draft of YA thriller that could become an adult thriller," I'll be working on another, "Work on short-form writing, essays and short stories." If all goes well, I'll have a couple of pieces submitted for this challenge, which addresses still another goal, "Concentrate on submissions and concentrate on increasing the number of submissions I make."

So long as the goals are being addressed, does it matter how orderly or chaotically you work to meet them?

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