PUSH: Getting Things Done in 2015 #ROW80

This year is all about Getting Things Done.
I have my focus word to drive me forward: PUSH
I have a writing plan set into motion for 2015.

So, of course, the next step was an accountability plan. It is one thing having plans and talking about them at the beginning of a year. But it becomes an “expectation” when you’re made accountable. I am lucky enough to have an incredible Story Sister in my friend Darcy Conroy. Every writer needs another writer that they can turn to. You could call it a critique partner, a writing partner, a colleague but most importantly for me we all need support and Darcy is this support person for me.

But sometimes you need further accountability and then something like ROW80 happens.
ROW80 = Round Of Words in 80 days

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What is RoW80?
The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Perfect for rewrites/writing/editing

I signed up for the last round, there are 4 rounds per year, last year but life interruptus happened and I was not able to get everything done I wanted to for ROW80.

So I have signed up again for the first round this year. I have a writing plan and focus that is very specific this year. But there is something about Writing Down an action plan in S.M.A.R.T. bite size chunks that makes your plan doable.

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2015 ROW80 Rnd #1 Resolutions Intentions

1. Be kinder to myself

This year I am going to be kinder to myself both personally and professionally. As a perfectionist and a daughter of a German mother, most times I do not need any other critics because I am my own worst critic. I am “never good enough” and things I do are “never perfect enough”.
I am shaking off the old German professor on the side of my shoulder and I am going to go easier on myself.
I am not going to use the words: _____…not good enough / ____…not perfect.

I am also going to stop beating myself up about work not done on days when the migraine monster comes calling. Instead I am going to work through the good days and on the bad days I am going to be kinder to myself.

2. Listen to my body, nurture my body

I have a tendency to push past pain until I create more pain. It is one of the reasons I have never needed a personal trainer to push me to train. Rather I need someone there to help me put the brakes on.

Last year I ignored my body’s messages for far too long and put my physical health at risk which impacted on my writing life.

This year I am making a firm decision to intentionally listen to my body and to intentionally nurture my body.

3. Unplug, destress, relax…more

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At the end of last year I took a wonderful week off…a week off from the internet, the constant information overload, the television and got back to nature. I realised 1 week per year of this unplugging needs to be more.

So this year I am taking every Sunday/Monday back.
Every Sunday: Complete unplug. No internet. No writing. No television.
Every Monday: Unplugged (except for the first Monday/month when I co-host #Storycraft on twitter). No writing.

Intention #2015 – I want to take a whole week off (Sunday – Sunday) once every 3 months and unplug completely.

To PUSH forward I need to allow myself rest days where I stand still in order to energise myself for the next week.

4. Make more time to read

Last year I did not read as much as I wanted to. Mostly because I was battling sapping energy/concentration levels. This year I want to read more for pleasure. As a writer, I do read a lot but this year I want to read every day.
I’ll also be reviewing more books. I have baulked for a while about reviewing books but realised that before I am a writer, I am and have always been a voracious reader. So I am going to set an intention to have a Kaffeeklatsch, where I discuss my current reads along with what coffee I am drinking, at least once a month, aiming for two per month on Wednesdays.

5. Getting words done in S.M.A.R.T bite-size chunks

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I have been looking for a productivity tool for a while now.
The thing is: I love being organised but I hate lists. But this week I found an app that just Zings for me.

It is called droptask.

It is the Visual task organiser/project planner/team collaboration tool that is built for some like me. It is visual, colourful and there is no list in sight. Instead of telling you I am going to show you what it does.

Along with Tappsana/Asana, Droptask and my incredible Lifetopix organiser – Aside: watch for a “Favourite Productivity Tools and “How I use them” post next week Thursday – I am completing small daily bite-size goals of words done/edited/rewritten instead of just focusing on a large, looming volcano of a deadline.

6. Accept “Good Enough” and Move Forward

Words are never “done” for me. I can edit until the proverbial cows come home and leave again. But…this year I am going to STOP at “good enough”. At the end of the day I need to accept what I have done and the next day “turn the page” and move towards the next goal-post.

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So I have come up with a plan for myself. Every day I am going to print off the page/s I have completed and file them. That means I am not allowed to go back over those pages on the screen once I have printed them. I am also filing them away digitally in my Dropbox as an added backup.

7. Finish and Submit

I have the intentional goal of finally finishing my Rewrite on Tattooist and submitting it to publishers. I am itching to get this rewrite done and dusted and off my computer screen onto a potential publisher/editor’s screen so that I can move on to something new and shiny. I already have a loose plot for book #2 in The Blood & Ink series and even have a working title. So the sooner I finish the rewrite on The Tattooist (Book #1) the sooner I can get going on book 2.

The long-year goal for this year is to find a publishing home for Tattooist (Book #1) and secure a publishing home for “The Blood & Ink” series.

8. PUSH forward

PUSH : My intention and focus for 2015. PUSH forward with each new day’s task. Focus on the small goals in order to Push forward to the large goals. Push past procrastination and perfectionism and get to Progress and Achievement.

PUSH = Persist Until Something Happens

Check in with what the other writers are doing for #RoW80.

Tell me: What are your intentions for 2015?

(P)ersist (U)ntil (S)omething (H)appens #OneWord365 2015

2014 has ended…It was the year of hard lessons for me.

Every year I pick a word for the year. My personal life word this year is: metanoia.

But my working writing word for the year is: PUSH

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push
pʊʃ/
verb
verb: push; 3rd person present: pushes; past tense: pushed; past participle: pushed; gerund or present participle: pushing

Origin

Middle English (as a verb):
from Old French pousser,
from Latin pulsare ‘to push, beat, pulse’ (see pulse1).
The early sense was ‘exert force on’, giving rise later to ‘make a strenuous effort, endeavour’.

1.
exert force on (someone or something) in order to move them away from oneself.
“she pushed her glass towards him”
synonyms: shove, thrust, propel, impel; More
antonyms: pull
hold and exert force on (something) so as to cause it to move in front of one.
“a woman was pushing a pram”
move one’s body or a part of it into a specified position with effort.
“she pushed her hands into her pockets”
press (a part of a machine or other device).
“the lift boy pushed the button for the twentieth floor”
synonyms: press (down), push down, depress, exert pressure on, bear down on, hold down, squeeze; More
cause to reach a particular level or state.
“competition in the retail sector will push down prices”
2.
move forward by using force to pass people or cause them to move aside.
“she pushed her way through the crowded streets”
synonyms: force (one’s way), shove, thrust, squeeze, jostle, elbow, shoulder; More
(of an army) advance over territory.
“the guerrillas have pushed south to within 100 miles of the capital”
exert oneself to attain something or surpass others.
“I was pushing hard until about 10 laps from the finish”
informal
be nearly (a particular age or amount).
“she must be pushing forty, but she’s still a good looker”
3.
compel or urge (someone) to do something, especially to work hard.
“she believed he was pushing their daughter too hard”
synonyms: urge, press, pressure, put pressure on, pressurize, force, drive, impel, coerce, nag; More
demand persistently.
“the council continued to push for the better management of water resources”
synonyms: demand, insist on, clamour for, ask/call for, request, press for, campaign for, work for, lobby for, speak for, drum up support for, sponsor, urge, promote, advocate, recommend, champion, espouse
“the trade unions will be likely to push for wage increases”
informal
have very little of something, especially time.
“I’m a bit pushed for time at the moment”
informal
find it difficult to achieve something.
“he will be pushed to retain the title as his form this season has been below par”

Last year was a year that upended my efforts and really put a giant PAUSE sign in my way. From about midway thorough the year I was struggling in an unbeatable fight with sapping energy levels, lack of concentration, and chronic, mind-sapping insomnia. Initially I put this down to my migraines which had also ratcheted up to unacceptable levels. But eventually something told me this was something more than just effect of my migraines.
I felt burnt out and almost extinguished. I thought maybe I needed a holiday. I had not had a holiday for 3 years. It pushed me to take a 5 day writing retreat, at a secluded little beach cottage, for a week in November with one of my close writing friends.

Lesson #1 Don’t feel guilty about taking a break, having a time-out. Go away somewhere if you can. De-stress, actively relax and unplug.

I still felt listless when I got back from my retreat. But wait, there’s more