Struggling to get motivated (list alert)

I’ll be honest. I’ve been struggling to get motivated to do my own writing.

All was very well to the end of November, when I completed NaNoWriMo 2017. But December disappeared down a dark hole of running around, shopping, Christmas, hospital visiting, family stuff, phone calls, and my output dropped to zero.

January and February have been spent trying to catch up. And I did do a lot of work in January and February, although it was pretty much all client editing work. And here we are with already the first week of March in the can.

I have so much to do!

  • I have a client book I’m in the midst of editing. The hard copy edit is done, I have to kick myself up the backside and do the electronic edit. Then it has to go to the author for queries. Then it comes back with, hopefully, no additional alterations and all queries resolved. Then it can go to the publisher
  • I have a client book I’m in the midst of consolidating author and proofreader alterations. The publisher is waiting for this one as it’s already very, very late.
  • I have a client book for which the author has used the 3rd proof stage to – yet again – rewrite great chunks that thus far had been perfectly acceptable.
  • I have 2 new edits to start for a client.
  • I have 1 new proofreading job to start for a client.
  • I have a guest blog post to write for a very good friend.
  • I have a history book to finish writing.
  • I have a novel to finish editing and to continue sending out to my very generous beta readers.
  • I have 2 blogs that are consistently being neglected.

This doesn’t include new stories I want to crack on with – both short and full length – and nor does it seem to tame the flow of new ideas that keep on coming.

Also, to keep the momentum going, the jobs coming in and the income flowing, I’m pitching for new work every day.

Two weeks ago I was able to squeeze in a quick proofread for a previous client that turned out to be a major rewrite. She did pay me the full fee, plus she gave an additional bonus. But it took so much longer than I thought it would, it knocked me out of kilter again.

Looking a the list of jobs I’m already committed to and obliged to finish, I need to prioritise.

  • The history book was due in on 1 March but my lovely editor granted me an extension as they don’t expect to have to do much work to it, which is nice, but the job is still in my to-do tray. This job needs to be a priority.
  • The proofreader/author consolidation needs doing as this book is already late.
  • I may as well finish the editing job I’m almost done with.

There, there are three jobs I have to crack on with first. And before I can crack on with (more of, in the case of the history book) my own writing – there’s a new cosy mystery I’ve been working on that’s screaming to be written – I have to tick these three jobs off.

I think then, that after that, the next three should be:

  • Write the guest blog post for the very good friend. (I’m really sorry I haven’t done this yet, but I will do it – I need the discipline!)
  • Finish editing Catch the Rainbow and get it sent to the beta readers.
  • Try to write a blog post every day.

And then I’ll have another look at the list.

Of course, the last item on the last list could mean this blog being bombarded with how-I’m-doing-(or-not) posts. But history has proved that this at least works for me and my production generally goes up when I have to report it somewhere. Plus, I have to start somewhere and writing a blog post at least exercises the writing muscle.

My own work is, once again, suffering, initially due to the need to earn a living. The poet has never not given me the opportunity to address this and I haven’t really done it yet. Hopefully, having a bit of a shakeup today will help.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

When you’re overwhelmed with work and feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day, how do you prioritise? Answers below, and thank you for reading.

4 thoughts on “Struggling to get motivated (list alert)

  1. carol warham says:

    As soon as I saw list alert – I was on my way over! To be honest, you’re not the only one struggling, quite a few of us are. I don’t really have an excuse except being a procrastination expert. Book no 2 is just not working for me.
    You have a lot of your plate and you really do need to prioritise. In my opinion, for now, paid jobs must come first, that’s a no-brainer. After that do a little of your own writing – so as not to beat yourself about the head! I’m sure that good friends more than understand if they have to wait awhile! 😀 Also blogs can wait – they can be caught up with later also.
    However, you always work well under stress and with a long list! I have every faith you’ll get to the bottom of it before long! Squeeze a hug for Ian and Rufus in your list! x

    Like

    • Diane says:

      Yes, I always find listing the WIP has a positive effect. I used to use the blog as a warm up, now I’m using something else (see tomorrow’s post!). I think getting back into the blog habit may help.
      Ian and Rufus always get hugs … so do the cats and, sometimes, the chickens! 😀
      I think you need to resurrect your old sailor … 😉
      x

      Like

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