Momentum and mountains

One of my most common excuses for not doing writing is that I don’t have a decent place to write. Since September of last year, I have a home office, but it hasn’t felt like an inviting place: there have been boxes and recyclable bags left unpacked since the move, the bare walls make a horrible echo, and there’s been a spare monitor at my feet when I sit at my desk.

No more.

I’ve been tackling various parts of my home in the past few days, finally claiming these spaces instead of leaving projects unfinished. I alphabetised my DVD rack and pared down my collection to what fit on the shelves. I mounted a painting, a canvas, and a poster. I came into my home office and emptied boxes.

One of these boxes was filled with a stack of papers that I had basically packed that way, the mountain on top of the file cabinet. Tax documents for annual income, investment and loan statements, the instruction manual for my toaster oven. Luckily, I bought hanging folders and labels years ago, so I started sorting through the pile, making a new folder whenever it was necessary (FIVE just for writing!). In short order, the mountain had been ground down and sifted into separate containers, clearly identified, easy to find if need be.

I had started with a simple task, and let the momentum from that carry me until the office was nearly done! I did take a break to eat something—this the result of ONE cup of coffee—and instead of returning to the physical stuff, I updated my CV and came here. Still time well spent, imo.

These are all things that I could have done at any time during the past four months, though I expect my neighbours are grateful I don’t typically use the hammer after dark. It just seemed like so much, and the thought of even starting with one tiny thing felt impossible. I at least had to clear a space and take down a box and grab a marker… it becomes easy to make excuses, easier to maintain them, even in the face of guilt.

I gave myself the benefit of having started and completed other projects, like reorganising my DVDs. I also put on an energetic playlist and had caffeine singing in my veins. I may have a box, a pair of rollerblades, and some paper garbage to take care of; but that seems like nothing against the mountain of papers I’ve already conquered. I’ll get it done.

Time to get organized

I’ve been very good about getting work done on Yggdrasil, but I have been neglecting Destiny for the past month. I think I finally got too discouraged with my snail-like writing; the journal is lovely, but I really fly when I’m behind the keyboard and I think that’s what I want to do now. There are plenty of things I can write out longhand to fill the journals I’m so intent on collecting.

I think I need more organization in my writing life. To that end, I have purchased yet another journal to write specific goals in, so that I can make these promises to myself and either congratulate myself when I succeed or kick myself in the pants when I fail.

writing goals journal

This coming weekend is a long one. With Canada Day on Tuesday, we’ve taken Monday off as well for a solid, relaxing four days off. We had a similar situation last weekend for la Saint-Jean. With this in mind, I’ve drawn up a long-ish list of goals to accomplish:

goals canada day weekend

One goal I thought about adding was “write author bio for back cover” of Yggdrasil; I keep going back and forth on whether I want one. I’ll definitely include a brief bio inside the book, but maybe a bio would go nicely on the back cover of my first book. What do you guys think?

The reason for all this dilemma about whether to include a bio is that I have the final version of my cover from Ellie at Creative Digital Studios. I haven’t finalized the details for the back cover, but here’s what I’ve got:

Climbing Yggdrasil cover

I love it, and Ellie Augsburger has been a joy to work with. I’d be too embarrassed count how many questions I sent her before deciding to work with her, but she replied promptly and professionally and helped set my mind at ease about the whole process. I’m thrilled with what she came up with and her responses to my requests for changes. I look forward to working with her on future projects.

And, of course, I most eagerly look forward to seeing her cover on a physical copy of my book. I’ve promised myself I would have the second draft ready before I send off for more proofs, though.