Looking at this blog recently, I noticed that I haven’t posted anything in 2015 (I’ve been more active on my other blog). This was bound to happen, as work on my novel, plus procrastination strategies I have perfected over the years (i.e. becoming obsessed over this-or-that historically remastered recording of this-or-that piece of music), leaves me little time to post on anything that isn’t confined to the strictures of a review (see my recent reviews on Murmurs from the Balcony and Goodreads as proof). Plus, since I want to be paid for my poetry, short stories, novels, plays, etc., the only things I post on here are the occasional poem or short story, which I will often revise after posting, and since I’ve been working on the novel…
Therefore, I’ve decided to list my current schedule (in no particular order), from which you will see leaves little time to nourish my first foray from obscurity into notoriety (i.e. this blog, back when I started in on Blogger in May 2009). There is, however, a project coming up that involves this blog, but I don’t want to say too much; after all, past lists of promised blog posts have left many broken promises.
1. MY NOVEL
The biggest of my projects, which reminds me of an onion: peel one layer away, and you are confronted with many more. At least it hasn’t made me cry yet, which would complete the metaphor. Frustrated, yes, but not to tears. Checking in with my awesome first reader, I’m not lacking for ways to revise the novel; I’m lacking in how to accomplish these revisions. The main culprit? The narrator. Sure, some characters could use more fleshing out, but it’s the goddamn narrator who’s causing me to want to throw things at the screen. The good news is, if I figure out that problem (and yes, I have ideas), the novel shouldn’t need any other major revisions. Minor ones, yes, but once the major ones are dealt with, I can start shopping the novel around to publishers.
2. MOVIES, BOOKS, AND VIDEO GAMES
I’m trying to see fewer movies, read more books, and play more video games in my free time. I’m doing pretty well with one, very well with two, and dismally with three. Since one is necessary for two, and three is so that I’m not working all the time, I consider it successful. Plus, with the weather getting nice, I’ll be ditching all of these for photography and walks around Greenlake soon, anyway.
3. MY JOBS
Any writing or reading I do has to work around my jobs. Reading is easy, since I can read on the bus ride to work, but writing has to be done when I’m at home, and not being tempted by the sun to ditch everything and get some Vitamin D.
4. GOODREADS AND OTHER REVIEWS
Every time I finish a book, I write a quick review of it on Goodreads. Since I want to balance thoroughness with speed, some reviews end up taking more time than my novel does.
5. STUDYING JAPANESE
More properly, reviewing what I already know so that I may start studying new material and progress from the height of my knowledge in Japan to something that approaches fluency. I also want to brush up on my French. And learn some Korean. And American Sign Language.
6. BUYING FOOD
It takes time, as I have to write out a list, then walk to the store and come back. And, if I have to work later that day, I must remember to buy food that I can prepare quickly and transport easily.
7. OTHER LONG-TERM PROJECTS
These include writing diary entries, printing out photos I’ve taken over the last seven years, scanning objects into my computer, and burning items to disc.
8. FUN ACTIVITIES
I can’t work all the time, so occasionally I plan fun activities around my work schedule. Last year it was tango (doing) and ballet (watching). This year, I’m trying to attend more symphony concerts without paying too much for tickets.
And then, of course, there are emails to write, Facebook comments to leave, online articles to read, YouTube videos to watch, and people to call. And meditation! And exercise!