Wednesday, July 21

So Much To Do, So Little Time...

I think I've whined blogged about priorities and to-do lists and obligations a few million times before this post. This isn't one of those posts. Okay, maybe just a little bit, but I swear there will be no whining involved. Pinkie promise.

I always have a lot on my plate: having a toddler and husband, a business and a still-working-hard-toward-publication writing career will do that to a person. That doesn't count family, friends, church and grocery store visits (seems I'm there more and more each week). At the beginning of July one more To Do got added to my plate thanks to a visit to the ER. Uteran Fibroids, little non-cancerous tumors that are pains in the gut - literally - and that can lead to bigger problems! So in addition to the usual stuff I also had doctor visits and tests to deal with, too, a very low amount of energy because I lost so much blood (oh, the gifts that fibroids can give!) that I became anemic.

And in the middle of all that I received a very promising rejection letter from an editor who didn't want the book I sent them but who did want to see 'anything else' I had ready to go. Insert panicking, tired, crabby Kristi here.

Yes, I had a book nearly ready to go...the nearly was the problem. Thanks to the fibroids I was tired. Not just tired, wiped out. A few days it was a stretch just to walk from my comfy chair into the kitchen without feeling dizzy and wonky. And writing? Forget it. By the time I dealt with my non-fiction stuff my brain was mush. Playing with bebe? Didn't have the energy (thank God for amazing husbands who step in!) but still managed to read or color with her a bit. But getting that partial spit-polished and pretty? I had no idea how to accomplish that.

So I made myself a deal: each hour for 15 minutes, I would make notes or read through a chapter or look for typos. Anything small. And as I began to feel better, I added a little more. For two 15 minutes periods, I took the notes I'd made and integrated those ideas into the WIP. Then I'd read through the changes to find typos, grammar errors...you know the drill. In the beginning of my weird-because-I'm-sick schedule those 15 minutes sessions were excruciating. No, I wasn't in physical pain, but it was so hard to concentrate (or really do much of anything) that I didn't know how to cope.

You know what happened, though? Those 15 minutes sessions gradually got longer, my tiredness did go away as my body healed and I made it through. That partial? Out the door. Will the editor like it? I really hope so, but even if she doesn't I learned something about myself over the last 3 weeks: I can do it. I don't have to have twelve free hours each day to make progress on whatever task I set. Those little increments of time do add up (I did a little editing in my doctor's office one morning!).

This week? Finally feeling like my old self, which is good because a new book is calling...My question to you: do you take advantage of those little bits of time or do you let the So Much To Do, So Little Time frame of mind overwhelm you?

13 comments:

  1. Love your post today and your blog. I'm now a follower and hope you follow me too. Can't wait to see more of your writing

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  2. Hi Em! Thanks for stopping by! :) Hope to see you at the MVRWA meeting on Saturday.

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  3. Great blog, Kristi. Can totally relate to the anemia and feeling tired all the time. Did you get your partial ready to go? If you need a pair of extra eyes to look at it, just let me know.

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  4. I'm a little bitter...er..a little biter? no....i do things a little bit at a time until they're done. Little bit-er. =)
    glad you're feeling better and best of luck on the book!

    carrie

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  5. Kristi,
    I love your preserverance! Way to go. And I'm so glad you're feeling better.

    I'm trying to become organized enough to do things bit by bit. Whenever I leave the house, I almost always take the last page I wrote and fresh graph paper to make notes on or to write more.

    Most of the time I do things in big chunks because I'm a world class procrastinator and wait until the last minute.

    Good post and good luck!

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  6. Good post, Kristi. I'm a little bit-ter, too, though I would like to be a big bit-ter.

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  7. Liz and Carrie, you crack me up...little bit-ers, indeed!

    Jerri, the partial is out the door...but I may take you up on a beta read a little later, if that's okay?

    Margie, little bits or big bits, they all add up I think!

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  8. Hi, K~
    So glad you're feeling better! Good luck with the partial!

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  9. Kristi,

    Lovely post. Sorry you're not feeling well and glad to hear your health is improving.

    I'm a huge believer in 'every little bit counts' and think you're approach is proof of that.

    Looking forward to seeing you Saturday.

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  10. Yeah for you - now don't lose your momentum, because she may very well request the full. Whip it into shape!

    I happily steal time wherever I can. You can get a uge feeling of accomplishment just from crossing one tiny thing off a list.

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  11. Christi, I've little bitt-ed my way through the Black Moment - at least with notes. Going into my writing cave tomorrow to get it all down...then you guys are gonna get inundated! :)

    Connie, thanks for stopping by! I'm definitely a 'little bit' convert now!

    D'Ann, thanks for the good luck!

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  12. Patrice KavanaughJuly 22, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    Inspiring post! I tend to want "long" stretches of time to write...or even edit/typo correct/etc. But I've had my share of illness drama this past week--not mine, but my Mom's! Super stressful. So, I haven't done ANYTHIING writing-wise and was feeling sorry for myself that writing is taking such a back seat to all my other to-dos. Your post has revved me to realize little bits do count and add up. Thanks. Patrice

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  13. Wonderful post, Kristi. I'm sorry about your health but so glad you were able to make those small moments count. 15 minutes at a time can really make a difference. Congrats on getting your partial sent in!!

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