The dreaded to-do list

There was a time when retirement was meant to be when you slowed down and took life easily. Like so many of my contemporaries, that idea seems to have passed me by.

Even my writing to-do list gets longer by the day. I haven’t done any work on the next novel in months. I’m currently busy trying to get to grips with Scrivener – a tool to help writers keep track of projects and which many authors swear by. A couple of months ago, I bought a new website template which is proving considerably more complex than I ever imaged and I’m not getting very far with it. Currently, my eBooks are on Amazon and I’ve decided to make them available in other outlets. Another learning curve to climb. I also need to spend time learning more about how to utilise things like twitter and a whole host of other marketing strategies. I have books on making the most of Goodreads and Facebook, how to understand Search Engine Optimisation (still not sure I even understand what that means) plus several other books and tasks that have been at the bottom of my to-do list for years!

The trouble is, the technology defeats me. It uses language I don’t understand. It’s not just the jargon – the individual words make sense, but strung together as they are, they seem to mean something different. It could be a foreign language for all I can comprehend!

Time to stop and remind myself:-

Being Busy Isn’t the Same as Being Productive

Is it a list of things I have to do or what I would like to do?

Time to prioritise – the urgent is not always the important.

I need to step away from all the technical stuff. I’m a writer so I’ve decided to do nothing but write for the next month. I’ve signed up NaNoWriMo – the challenge of writing 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. A good excuse not to feel guilty about not bothering with all the other extraneous promotional/marketing stuff and just do what I love doing.

It’ll be a challenge. For a start, I’m a slow writer. Upping my average of 500 words a day to 2000 means the chances of managing to get anywhere near the magic 50,000 number are pretty remote. I’m not a planner either so I have no detailed plot already worked out to speed up the process. The book is another Fiona Mason mystery so I do have a main character plus Pete and Winston of course and it’s set in the Rhone Valley of France. I have a vague idea of who I’m going to kill off and why, but that’s about it. However, there’s a big community of support out there. I went along to a welcome meeting of my local regional NaNoWriMo group and met lots of enthusiastic local writers, which is an excellent start.

I’ll let you know how I fare in next month’s blog.

4 thoughts on “The dreaded to-do list

  1. Brilliant plan, Judith, to concentrate on what you love to do versus what you (or anybdy else) feel you ‚ought‘ to do!

    Good luck with your and Fiona‘s Rhône valley adventure!

    Kind regards, Veronika Prett

  2. Totally relate to this struggle! I keep having to step back and prioritizing what *I* really want to do with my free time instead of letting outside pressures make the decision. I wish you well on your NaNoWriMo efforts, especially because I much rather have a new Fiona book than see a new website to read. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *