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Les Semaines

00.03.12

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout

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Working to Deadline

One thing that has been consistent throughout my writing and working life and my academic career is that I find deadlines are the best spur to get me off my butt (or actually applying my butt to my computer chair and typing) and doing something. If I start working on something too soon before a deadline I waste a whole lot of time, but give me a real deadline and after much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth I focus in a way that I only can then and get whatever I was working on done. It causes high anxiety (and of course all that weeping, wailing, gnashing) but it does get me going, gets that adrenaline going, and I usually do my best work under those conditions.

What I need to do is to learn how to make this work for me. Maybe one way would be to try one of those novel dares, but somehow I don't want to give in to this, dammit. I want to be able to learn how to discipline myself.

Or maybe the dares would be a way of doing that.

Or maybe I should just work out a schedule of deadlines for myself and make myself stick to them. The problem is that I see through my own deadlines and know they're not "real" and so find it easier to blow them off.

Really, at this rate it's amazing that I care finish anything. Maybe I need to analyze when I've actually managed to finish something without a deadline, like my poetry manuscripts, though I've only managed to do that three times, and I did finish the first draft of my first novel without a deadline.

Okay, so maybe my relationship with this whole deadline thing is more complicated than at first glance. Clearly I have been able to work without a deadline, so how can I figure out how to focus in?

I definitely need to learn how not to waste time, but time-wasting is such a pleasant activity. Reading is clearly my biggest vice (remember my list from February 13th?) but I've also built up quite an addiction to Solitaire, which in the past I've been able to break more quickly than I have this time. The online reading addictions go in waves as the content is more or less interesting to me and when I feel as though I have to read it in a rush I don't enjoy any of it as much. I have a newsgroup as SFF Net that I neglect embarrassingly. I keep thinking I'll go and make it interesting, but it can't become a priority--I have too many others.

I spend a hell of a lot of time sitting at my computer for as little writing (both email and creative writing) as I get done.

Happily grant deadline season is drawing to an end now--I have only one more application to complete, and have a couple of weeks to do it in. But my office is still in a big mess. Don't look.

And I have to confess, I still never finish these entries much earlier than 10:00 on Sunday nights, when I really should be winding everything down and getting some sleep.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Bits and pieces, nothing that I really focused on this week. I'm looking forward to some new releases, still enjoying some old ones, still testing out some MP3 samples to see if I like the artists.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Did I really only finish one book this week? I guess this must be because I finished reading my friend's mystery novel manuscript, and it was a busy week. The novel is good enough that I was reading it late, realized there was only one more chapter but I had to go to bed, so I took it with me to finish. Heh. I always read in bed before sleeping, but usually not anything as awkward as a manuscript.

Anyway the book I finished, Kij Johnson's The Fox Woman, is set in medieval Japan, and retells the Japanese folktale of a fox who falls in love with a man and turns into a woman to be able to be with him. Told through the journals of the fox, the man, and the man's wife, this is both neatly written and a fascinating look into a world I didn't know too much about. The depiction of medieval Japan was entertaining, and the complicated emotional lives of the characters was fascinating. I read a library copy, but I will be getting a copy of my own. This is definitely something I will read again.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Finally finished another grant application, all set to go out in the mail tomorrow, except I probably won't have time because of a day-long meeting to get to a post office, and will have to do it on Tuesday, which is the postmark deadline which makes me a little nervous. So it goes.

Spent some time this week working on revising poems.

I got the contract for the essay mentioned in my February 27 entry.

And yesterday my poetry writing workshop group had a day-long retreat at a friend new house on Whidbey Island. It was nice to get out of the city, get a very little air, and sit around with friends and workshop and talk poetry for a good part of the day. Refreshing.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

November 1976

581. On learning to trust

After many a silly wandering, and a few painful lessons learned, i've had to sigh and learn to trust Him. I try to walk off on my own and i inevitably fall. {lengthy quote from a song from Nilsson's The Point about falling to the bottom of a pit and needing a lifeline omitted.] He sent down a Lifeline. And it's strong enough to lift me up. I trust it.

582. Clouds

[Quote from an Annie Herring Christian inspirational song omitted.] Heaven's higher, and I'm going to fly. LATER: I don't know how people can talk of finding Christ, it's just a matter of opening eyes to see what is (and always has been) there. LATER: Insane, i wish i could clear out the junk and leave only the essentials. I'm on my way to a cleansing that will take a long, long time.

583. Becoming one

Becoming one (in His spirit) in The Spirit. One. All together, working together, growing together as one. (In Him). He is in me, and i am in Him. It's getting together, typing it all up. It's all working out, looking for similarities instead of differences ,and learning to build on them. No more building barriers. We are One.

584. Problem Today

Wow, have i ever got a problem today. I can't keep my head out of them clouds. My head just won't come out, and i can get my mind back on philosophy. My mind is active and running away. I'm just watching it, completely absorbed in its energy, while i have nothing to do with myself. This is a heavy week, and i don't have time to mess around. Must apply myself, get things done. Can't wait. Can't rowdy. Apply, concentrate, become studious, just pretend it's real.

585. Seed heavies

The Seed is going through a lot of heavies. Heavy hassles that is. Things are changing, things rearranging, 'til i hardly know which end is up, there. I don't know how to take it, how to improve it. Gotta bring The Seed back to Him, keep it close where it cannot escape.

586. Living and Reliving

I keep living and reliving certain hours in my life. Over and over and over again. Those hours are gone, and i'll never be in them again. it hurts to remember them, but they're times i don't want to lose. (I wish they were back again [i miss them so badly, and cannot resign myself to having lost them, not matter how hard i try.] I've got to find them again, somehow.)

587. The parts they never mention [1]

A song of love and hatred, all parts o the parts they never mention. They never said it would be tough. They only talked of the joy and the love. They never mentioned the times when things die and wounds will not heal. Then you keep hoping an impossible hope. THey say with Him nothing is impossible. I'm to the point of asking Him to prove it to me. Give me the answer i want.

588. Keep challenging

I keep challenging, because i want so badly. I don't think i've never wanted anything more in my life. It's becoming more and more of an obsession, and just when i think i've escaped, it grows stronger.

589. Two months now

It's been two months now, and still i cannot accept it. Never seems too long. I don't want to last that long. I don't know what i can find to take its place. I've tried to fill the hole so many ways; it just will not be filled. Sometimes He comes and slips into that hole enough that i forget. But it never lasts that long and too soon i remember.

590. Trying to talk

I'm trying to talk myself into so much, but all this talking, all this living in my mind won't get me anywhere. I can make as many decisions as i like, but unless i start to act on them it's all worthless. My disappointment in myself (when i carry on and forget all i have resolved) will no stop until i clear out all the garbage. Cleaning day is coming soon, it must be.


NOTES

1. Sly quote from Jethro Tull's "Aqualung."

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