Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Earned My Free Pass!

David Castillo Dominici
In the wee hours of Wednesday as I prepared my ROW80 check-in post I decided I needed to either adjust my goals or adjust something in my life to give certain of those goals a fighting chance.

The problem: One of the five time investment goals--reading, writing and editing in my fiction files--had gotten a steady stream of Ns at each check-in since the start of the round.  And top of the list goal to prep my short story Blow Me a Candy Kiss for epublication had never received a Y since my entry into ROW80 in the middle of the last round.

I decided to go with a carrot/stick approach.  I made three of my current favorite activities contingent upon fulfilling the daily requirements for those two goals.

Now in order to earn the right to watch videos, play video games or add to my ebook library and fiddle with its metadata I must spend a minimum of 30 minutes on each of those goals.  30 minutes on one or the other earns me a move or two episodes of a TV series or news pod, or up to 90 minutes total of games or any combination of games and video.  Thus choosing a movie means no games but an hour of solitaire plus a sitcom is allowed. 30 minutes on both goals earns me a free pass for the day on all of the activities.

Messing with my ebook library requires the free pass as I know how hard it is for me to quit once I start.  I'm hoping that some of the obsession with the ebook library will transfer to my fiction files as so many of the activities are similar, using the same skill set and giving the same satisfaction. 

If I start to abuse the free pass tho and let the other goals begin accumulating Ns then I'll have to rethink leaving them out of this rule but as of now I think my steady devotion to all the rest of the goals has earned some leeway so for now I don't have to complete the requirements on all six goals before accepting the reward for addressing the two bugaboos.

So straight out of the gate on Wednesday evening (which is when my days start during the current heat wave) I earned a movie by finally reading through the short story.  Then after the movie was over I turned my attention to my fiction files.  And ended up spending six hours fussing with them.

As I've discussed before they are a mess and the mess makes me avoid them.  I'm talking not only of the drafts of stories and novels themselves but the notes, research, timelines, character sketches, images and so forth, including lots of links dropped in with no notation as to why they are relevant.  Among the twenty or so story and novel WIP are the 8 NaNo Novels all but one of which are messier and contain more words per square inch then all the rest of the files combined.

I earned the free pass but then didn't use it for the restricted activities.  But I decided that because I'd also stayed up four hours past my usual lay down time I would credit myself with the 30 minutes in the files for Thursday and allow myself to wake up over a movie this evening.

When the movie was over it was after 10pm and I still hadn't eaten (I'm seldom hungry before the post-sundown cool down) so I fixed a sandwich then started working on this post.  It took me over an hour to find an image to go with my concept though so now I'm into the wee hours of Friday.

So I'm off to do a second read-through of Candy Kiss.  The first one was an attempt to read it like a stranger for the story.  This time I'll be looking for things that need tweaking as I begin to prep it for beta readers.

Then I'll have another free pass good until I go to bed or noon which ever comes first for I should be asleep by 10am but if like Thursday morning I stay up past noon I'll cut myself off from all the addictive activities again until I've slept and earned them back with time invested on one or both of those two goals.

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